ABB, Canadensys and Magellan get Moon Surface Contracts

Canadensys (formerly ODG) lunar rover concept. Credit: Canadensys.

It was just over a week ago that we published the news that the first contract had been awarded by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for the Lunar Surface Autonomous Science Payloads (LSASP) program.

The first contract listed by Public Services and Procurement Canada went to Mission Control Space Services. We knew at the time there would be at least one more contract award, and up to five more.

We can now report that an additional four contracts have been awarded. The recipients are;

  • Canadensys Aerospace Corporation (Bolton, Ontario) – Received not one, but two contracts. The award totals are $689,139.45 and $574,856.60.
  • ABB Inc. (Québec City, Québec) – $796,998.65
  • Magellan Aerospace Limited (Winnipeg, Manitoba) – $698,194.88

Each contract has an 18 month window to complete the work.

Details for all five contract awards are not available yet. The CSA will likely issue a press release in the near future with the details.

The purpose of the Lunar Surface Autonomous Science Payloads Program

While much of the public focus on the moon has been centred on the human aspect of the NASA led Artemis program, including the Lunar Gateway, much of the work on the moon’s surface will be robotic. Canada wants to be there, leading the way with a variety of technologies, both for scientific research and future commercial use of local resources.

Mission Control and other companies are working on getting some initial scientific payloads to the surface, hopefully within the next five years. At least that’s the goal of the CSA and the LSASP program.

The initial contracts being awarded are all for concept studies or further technology developments. The CSA will have to see the results of the Mission Control and other contracts before making any final decision on when an actual Canadian mission to the surface of the moon will take place.

The CSA defined the program as follows;

“The Lunar Surface Autonomous Science Payloads (LSASP) are defined as highly visible science mission enabling capabilities in the form of payload, instrument or mission sub-systems or component either static or mobile further detailed in section 7 with the proper level of autonomy to successfully perform its key contribution to a clearly identified mission on the surface of the Moon. This implies that the LSASP must comply with the lunar environment in accomplishing its mission such as being subject to extreme temperature variations, permanently shadowed area throughout the lunar night and; regolith and radiation exposure of the lunar surface. Either equatorial or polar landing sites are possible, but for the benefit of the majority of the currently planned missions: focusing on scientific exploration of the Moon and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), polar destinations, in particular, the far side south pole destination are the most likely destinations of interest and the primary targets according to the GER (RD-5).”

The Canadian Space Agency procurement notice with full LSASP program details.


About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ 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.

Leave a Reply