Ontario receives over $3 million economic boost to help explore the moon

Feb 25 2020, 8:21 am

The Government of Canada is investing in new opportunities for Canada to explore the moon.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is presenting the country’s space community, including small and medium-sized businesses, with the opportunity to contribute technologies to national and international efforts in lunar exploration.

“Our government is positioning Canada’s space sector to reach for the Moon and beyond,” Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, said. “This investment will help Canadian businesses bring their technologies to market, creating opportunities for them to join the growing space economy while supporting Canada to achieve world firsts in space science and exploration.”

The CSA is awarding seven contracts worth a total of $4.36 million to five companies and one university in Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba to advance concepts for nano- and micro-rovers, as well as autonomous science instruments.

These advancements will serve as the first steps towards landing and conducting Canadian science on the surface of the moon, the CSA announced on Tuesday.

CSA’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) is providing $150 million over five years to help small and medium-sized businesses in Canada develop new technologies to be used and tested in lunar orbit and on the moon’s surface in fields that include artificial intelligence, robotics, and health.

The contracts being awarded in Ontario are:

  • Bubble Technology Industries Inc. will receive $698,321 to develop a spectrometer that will autonomously search for hydrogen to indicate the presence of water and ice near the moon’s surface.
  • Canadensys Aerospace Corporation will receive two contracts worth a total of $1,099,366 to develop concept designs, technologies and prototypes for two different classes of small Canadian lunar science rovers – a nano-rover and a micro-rover.
  • Mission Control Space Services Inc. will receive $573,829 to advance an Autonomous Soil Assessment System as an AI-based science support tool for rovers navigating on the moon.
  • Western University will receive $690,123 to develop an integrated vision system for surface operations that will be used for identification of the geology of the lunar surface and for rover navigation.