The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced Wednesday, December 13th that it was providing $2.9 million to four companies for six projects for sustainable lunar exploration.
In making the announcement the CSA stated that “Establishing a long-term sustainable human presence on the Moon will require a wide variety of technological and scientific expertise.” To that end in November 2021 the CSA issued a Lunar Surface Exploration Initiative RFP. From that seven projects were selected for the concept phase and announced in June 2022. Now the CSA is moving on to the prototyping phase.
The Lunar Surface Exploration Initiative looks to “advance technologies focused on five fundamental fields for lunar exploration.” Those fields include:
- Agriculture and food production
- Autonomous and intelligent robots and rovers
- Avionics and communication
- Mining and In-situ resource utilization
- Power generation and distribution
The companies selected and their projects are:
Canadensys Aerospace of Bolton, Ontario (2 contracts valued at $449,998 and $500,000)
- Prototypes of a plant growth tray and water disinfection assembly designed to support crewed lunar habitation.
- Prototype of a complete rover-representative vehicle, rated for terrestrial operations.
MDA of Brampton, Ontario (2 contracts valued at $494,098 and $500,000)
- Development and assessment of algorithms to achieve continuous driving.
- Development of algorithms and autonomous plant management tools for a nuclear power system on the lunar surface.
Canadian Space Mining Corporation of Toronto, Ontario ($499,647)
- Prototype of their HYDRO+ technology that leverages integrated gas reduction methods to process diverse ore and minerals sourced from diverse geological regions on the Moon.
Honeywell of Ottawa, Ontario ($500,000)
- Prototype of a low-power tracking terminal front end for long-range optical communications.