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Public Services and Procurement Canada Snafu Leads to Postponed Lunar Gateway Industry Day

Deep space exploration robotics on a cislunar habitat. Credit: Canadian Space Agency/MDA.

Oh my, with industry seemingly never satisfied with the government procurement system comes along a procurement snafu that has many shaking their heads.

On September 9, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) posted an amendment to the Lunar Gateway Robotics – Canadarm3 RFI/LOI announcing the deferment of the PSPC Industry Day scheduled for this Wednesday.

The other two industry days, organized by the Canadian Space Agency for ispace and Astrobotic, scheduled for today and tomorrow, are going ahead as planned.

When the amendment was posted it offered no explanation for the postponement. Even some people at the Canadian Space Agency were confused.

So why the deferment?

What’s important to remember is that while the three Lunar Gateway Industry Days are scheduled consecutively, the Canadian Space Agency is only organizing the first two. The third is being organized by PSPC.

Having the three days organized together makes sense. You’re bringing together those from Canadian industry interested in the moon, be it cislunar space or operations on the surface of the moon.

As I previously mentioned, when the news of the deferment came about, the election couldn’t be the cause. After all, anyone in Ottawa, especially government knew that the election had to be called by September 15 and this event was always scheduled after that date.

Wrong. The election is the cause, sort of.

It seems some folks at PSPC didn’t clue into this immovable deadline. And so when they did clue in, they decided to postpone the event until after the election.

SpaceQ tried to get a comment from PSPC, but we never heard back from them.

Which brings up another point. Why is PSPC organizing this event in the first place? Last I checked, going to the moon was in the Canadian Space Agency purview. And since the Canadian Space Agency seemingly had no problem organizing the first two days, heck, why not the third. After all everyone who needs to be there, should be there, that is it seems, with the exception of PSPC.

For this snafu, PSPC gets another demerit point.

ispace, Astrobotic and LEAP

So what is happening at today’s and tomorrow’s industry days?

Today the morning scheduled is devoted to ispace.

Kyle Acierno, Vice President Global Sales & Strategy and John Walker, Vice President Lunar Surface Technology will make three presentations.

  • Introduction to ispace’s Mission 1: Opportunities for Canada
  • Rover and Lander Technology
  • Prospecting & ISRU: Introducing Lunar Ore Reporting Standards

This will be followed by business-to-business meetings in the afternoon.

Also of note, the Canadian Space Agency is holding a community consultation for the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) today and tomorrow.

Tomorrow Astrobotic will also make three presentations by Dan Hendrickson, Vice President of Business Development, Jeffrey Apeldoorn, Vice President of Future Missions and Technology and Mike Provenzano, Director of Planetary Mobility on these topics;

  • Introduction to Astrobotic Technology Inc., Payload delivery services
  • Future Missions and Technology
  • Rover
Canadian Space Summit 2019

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactice Inc. Boucher has 20 years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 27 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.