A Canadian will be going to the moon for the very first time following a historic agreement as part of the Artemis II mission that is planned to launch in 2023. It will be the first crewed mission to the moon since 1972.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and NASA have signed the Gateway Treaty, which confirms Canada’s participation in the next major international collaboration in space exploration, according to Navdeep Bains, Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
Historic news! 🌕
— CanadianSpaceAgency (@csa_asc) December 16, 2020
“This mission positions Canada to make history as the second country to have an astronaut travel to deep space and fly around the moon,” stated the CSA in a press release. “The Treaty also confirms a second flight for a Canadian astronaut to the Lunar Gateway.”
This will be the most significant space partnership since the establishment of the International Space Station (ISS).
The Artemis II lunar outpost will enable human exploration of the moon and help advance the technologies necessary for a future mission to Mars, according to the CSA.
“As Canada joins the US 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,” said Bains about the mission.
Currently, there are three Artemis missions planned that will take place over the next four years:
- Artemis I, an uncrewed test flight of the Orion spacecraft, set to launch on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in ;
- Artemis II, the first-ever crewed test flight of the Orion spacecraft, scheduled to launch on the SLS rocket in ;
- Artemis III, the mission that will land the first woman and the next man on the moon.
According to the CSA, it will be similar to the Apollo missions that took place over 50 years ago.