Canada Sending It's First Astronaut To The Moon in 2023
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Canada Sending It’s First Astronaut To The Moon in 2023

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Canada signs a historic space treaty with the U.S. and secures a vital role for Canada in the Lunar Gateway

Today Navdeep Bains Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and NASA have signed the Gateway Treaty, a historic agreement that confirms Canada’s participation in the next major international collaboration in space exploration, the planned Lunar Gateway space station.

Under the Treaty, a Canadian will be part of the Artemis II mission, the first crewed mission to the Moon since 1972. This mission, planned to launch in 2023, positions Canada to make history as the second country to have an astronaut travel to deep space and fly around the Moon. The Treaty also confirms a second flight for a Canadian astronaut to the Lunar Gateway.

Canada Sending It's First Astronaut To The Moon in 2023

Today’s announcement also affirms Canada as a key partner of the U.S. in space exploration, bringing Canadian and American technology and science to the Moon.

Hundreds of Canadian companies are expected to be involved in the development of Canadarm3 for the Lunar Gateway, working with the prime contractor MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. 

(MDA) and research organizations, to drive innovation and Canadian excellence in emerging technologies. Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy applies to the development and build of the Canadarm3, which will generate significant economic benefits in the Canadian space sector.

In addition, the Canadarm3 control station will be located on Canadian soil. Canada’s leadership in space robotics, from design to operations, will position industry for future global opportunities.

Canada Sending It's First Astronaut To The Moon in 2023

Canada’s participation in lunar exploration will keep our space industry strong and growing, while opening up new possibilities for Canadian research and innovation. The most significant space partnership since the establishment of the International Space Station, the lunar outpost will enable sustainable human exploration of the Moon and help advance the technologies necessary for a future mission to Mars.

Canada’s participation in the Lunar Gateway is the cornerstone of the Space Strategy, which aims to leverage Canadian strengths like robotics, while advancing science and innovation in exciting areas like artificial intelligence, biomedical technologies, food production, and research on the impact of climate change on Earth’s atmosphere.  

“This is a significant moment in Canada’s space history. The Canada–U.S. Gateway Treaty takes Canada to the Moon for the first time. Our country will collaborate with the most advanced space organizations in the world on cutting-edge science and technology for the benefit of humankind.

As Canada joins the U.S. and other international partners in this great adventure, our continued leadership in space robotics will be a source of national pride – and all eyes will look to the sky as one of our astronauts becomes the first Canadian to travel around the Moon.” – The Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry 

The Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry 

The Lunar Gateway is a planned space station in lunar orbit. About one-sixth of the size of the ISS, this new outpost will be developed, serviced, and utilized in collaboration with international and commercial partners.

The Gateway will be a science laboratory; a testbed for new technologies; a rendezvous location for exploration of the surface of the Moon; a mission control centre for operations on the Moon; and one day, a stepping stone for voyages to Mars. 

An artist’s concept of Canadarm3’s large arm on the Lunar Gateway. (Credits: CSA, NASA)

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