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

Royal Bay drama students help police train for emergency

Students helped train crisis negotiators by acting out scenarios

Westhills proposes picnic area, pier and beach by Langford Lake

The public amenity contribution is part of a proposed deal for a waterfront restaurant

Victoria BC Transit driver taken to hospital after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

How a scrawny kid from Oak Bay bulked into one of rugby sevens’ best

Doing it for Dylan, Oak Bay’s Connor Braid at the top of his game

CRD’s 2019 financial plan includes 23 per cent increase for capital projects

Housing, health care and wastewater projects included in 2019 plan

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

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

View Royal council to discuss proposed 3.5% tax increase tonight

Budget open house to directly precede the council meeting

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

Most Read