Special Coverage

Canadian Space Agency Releases Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program Opportunity

Designed as a workhorse that can deliver 150kg to low lunar orbit from low Earth orbit, with a range of configurationsto support lunar landing and cis-lunar operations, the MX-5 can also be outfitted with MX-1 or MX-2 staged systems that can bring the entire solar system within reach with Discovery Class capabilities. Credit: Moon Express.

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.

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 Interactive Inc. Boucher has 20 years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 28 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.