FILE - This Dec. 24, 1968, file photo made available by NASA shows the Earth behind the surface of the moon during the Apollo 8 mission. (William Anders/NASA via AP, File)

‘Canada is going to the moon’: Trudeau announces partnership in NASA-led quest

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is embarking on the creation of its new Lunar Gateway

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday that Canada will be a partner in a NASA-led project to establish an outpost for lunar exploration.

“Canada is going to the moon,” Trudeau declared as he made the announcement at the Canadian Space Agency in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is embarking on the creation of its new Lunar Gateway, a space station that will orbit the moon. The station is expected to be fully functional around 2026.

“The Lunar Gateway will be one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by human beings to date,” Trudeau said. “Not only will this moon outpost allow for a long-term lunar presence but it will also serve as a launch pad to Mars and beyond.”

The plan calls for a “sustainable lunar architecture” that would allow people and equipment to go back and forth to the moon regularly, NASA says. It is described as a first step toward deeper space exploration.

READ MORE: Trump signs order to create US Space Command

Trudeau said the partnership in the Lunar Gateway will be part of a new federal space strategy that will see the government invest $2.05 billion over 24 years. He said the investment will create hundreds of well-paying jobs and contribute $100 million annually to Canada’s gross domestic product.

Canada’s key contribution to the Lunar Gateway will be developing a smart robotic system, to be known as Canadarm 3. The mechanism will repair and maintain the outpost, which will be about one-fifth the size of the International Space Station.

“Canadarm was essential to the space shuttle, Canadarm 2 built the International Space Station, so it’s only fitting and right that the arm that will repair and maintain the Lunar Gateway will yet again be made in Canada by Canadians,” Trudeau said.

Last November, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine visited Ottawa to make a pitch for Canadian involvement in the moon project. He said at the time that he hoped Canadian expertise in artificial intelligence and robotics could yield a new Canadarm. “If Canadians want to be involved in missions to the surface of the moon with astronauts, we welcome that,” he added.

U.S. ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft said in a statement that Thursday’s announcement marks “the beginning of a new era of U.S.-Canada space co-operation.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Officer leads the flare in Saanich Police’s social media

Triangle dance latest addition to Saanich Police social media anthology

BC Ferries looks for more feedback on 25-year plan for Swartz Bay

Some suggestions already under consideration include a cycling route, waterfront park

U.S. college bribery scandal shines light on serious problem in Canada

Looking at the bigger picture of marginalization in universities

B.C. resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Bat signal lights up Vancouver sky for ‘Batwoman’ TV series

The art gallery has been transformed into XX of Gotham City

Trans Mountain court hearing: B.C. says it won’t reject pipelines without cause

Canada says the proposed amendments to B.C.’s Environmental Management Act must be struck down

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

B.C. father fights for his life after flu turns into paralyzing condition

Reisig has lost all motor skills with the exception of slight head, shoulder and face movements.

Suspicious fire in Alert Bay burns two homes, spreads to nearby bush

Police say underage suspects have been identified

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Vernon ordered to reinstate terminated firefighters caught having sex at work

City believes arbitration board erred, exploring options

Most Read