The Canadian Space Agency Wants Your Concept Ideas

Concept of Lockheed Martin's NextSTEP-2 habitat with Orion. Credit: Lockheed Martin.

It’s an exciting time if your job is to come up with ideas for future space exploration missions. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is looking for concept ideas for possible future missions, including human, to the area between Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and the moon, including the lunar surface.

The Big Picture

The Request for Information (RFI) released this week by the CSA is part of a longer term, big picture view of how Canada can contribute to possible international missions led by NASA or the European Space Agency.

The mission concepts the CSA is interested for this RFI is for the area between LEO and the moon, known as Cislunar space, a Deep Space Gateway, which is manned space station within Cislunar space, and lunar surface exploration, both robotic and human.

NASA habitation concept
NASA habitation concept. Credit: NASA.

Advanced and Essential Technologies

According to the RFI, the CSA “is seeking ideas for advanced and essential technologies or services that would facilitate and enable robotic and human exploration beyond LEO.”

They provide a list of some of the “technology fields and operational necessities” they are interested in but you can suggest your own as well.

  • Avionics and Communications Systems
  • Entry, Decent, and Landing Systems
  • Environmental Control & Life Support Systems
  • Ground Systems and Operations
  • Human Factors and Habitability
  • Human Health and Performance
  • In-Space Propulsion Technologies
  • Launch Systems
  • Lunar & Mars Surface Exploration Systems
  • Materials, Structures and Mechanical Systems
  • Micro & Nanotechnology
  • Modeling, Simulation, Information Technology and Processing
  • Navigation, Rendezvous, Proximity Operations and Docking Systems
  • Plant Growth/Food Production
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  • Science Sensors, Systems and Instrumentation
  • Space Power and Energy Systems
  • Thermal Control & Management Systems

There’s no guarantee that this RFI will turn into a Request for Proposals (RFP). The CSA says it’s for planning purposes only. However, should a concept study RFP be issued it might be a maximum $100,000 contract for a concept study completed within a few months time.


Cislunar Habitation & Environmental Control & Life Support System

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About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and Executive Vice President, Content of SpaceNews. Boucher has 25+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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