The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has issued an industrial capacity-building contribution announcement of opportunity (AO) for the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP).
This AO comes after the CSA asked for additional input in January for an upcoming “commercial lunar opportunity.”
The objective of the AO as we’ve written about previously is to “position Canadian technologies in the lunar mission supply chain by 2024” and is part of the new space strategy announced last February. The LEAP program is already funded at $150 million over five years.
The industrial capacity-building contribution AO is capped at $13 million with the maximum amount of funding per project set at $2 million, though with an extension that amount could reach $4 million.
The AO is will be in the form of non-repayable contributions and is inline with the “CSA Class Grant and Contribution (G&C) Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.”
Letter of intent are due by March 20, 2020 with the AO deadline set at March 31, 2020.
Companies likely looking to take advantage of this opportunity include ABB Canada, Canadensys Aerospace, Mission Control Space Service, Moon Express and others.
The Moon as a destination for further scientific study has been ongoing. However, it is now also seen as a waypoint to test new technologies for the human exploration of other planetary bodies in our solar system along with establishing early commercial opportunities beyond low Earth orbit.