Canadian Space Agency Signs Updated MOU’s with UK and Australia Space Agencies

Canadian Space Agency President Lisa Campbell and UK Space Agency CEO Paul Bate and signed the MOU at the 39th Space Symposium. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.

At the 39th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, the Canadian Space Agency announced it has signed updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UK Space Agency and the Australian Space Agency. They also said they had engaged in bilateral talks with JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

There are no public details released as yet on the updated MOU with Australian Space Agency however we do have some information on the MOU with the UK Space Agency.

The “enhanced” MOU, as the UK Space Agency called it, builds on the 2021 MOU, “a framework for collaborative activities and the exchange of information, technology and personnel between both nations.”

The UK Space Agency said “the MoU provides a more detailed framework for enhanced bilateral collaboration between the UK and Canada on space activities. This includes collaboration on regulation, facilitating the exchange of ideas and information on areas such as space policy, standards, and regulations, helping to ensure free and fair access to space for all.”

They added “the agreement also boosts collaboration in exploration and space science by identifying areas where both nations can leverage their world-class space academic and technology capabilities. This bilateral cooperation aims to support future exploration endeavours, including potential lunar habitats, and to advance our understanding of the Universe.”

There were some specific areas of collaboration mentioned.

The UK Space Agency’s International Bilateral Fund (IBF)

  • The IBF is already funding a collaboration between UK start-up Physical Mind London and Canadian tech company Baune. The project incorporates Physical Mind London’s pioneering HIFIm multi-exercise countermeasure unit into the Canadian Space Agency’s Connected Care Medical Module. The HIFIm device is designed to provide a full menu of exercise options in a confined space, helping to advance understanding of health and wellness interventions for astronauts.
  • The IBF has also funded the joint UK-Canada £1.2 million Aqualunar Challenge. The new international challenge prize – delivered by Challenge Works on behalf of the UK Space Agency and in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency and Impact Canada – is rewarding the design of innovative technologies to make human habitation on the Moon viable, by finding ways to purify water buried beneath the lunar surface.

The UK Space Agency’s Science & Exploration Bilateral Programme

  • The Science & Exploration Bilateral Programme is supporting a potential UK-Canada partnership on CASTOR. An astronomy mission currently under study by the Canadian Space Agency, CASTOR will fill a gap in current observing capabilities, by providing state of the art imaging and spectroscopy in ultraviolet and optical-blue wavelengths.
  • The UK has begun work on the development and space qualification programme for advanced imaging technology from Teledyne e2v and the associated electronics, along with contributions to the scientific data processing.  This is carried out by a UK consortium led by UKRI-STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre (Edinburgh), with the UK Space Agency providing £3.3 million to fund UK participation in this early phase work.
  • The programme is also funding the early study phase for a proposed space science collaboration, between The Open University and Canada – the International Mars Ice Mapper (I-MIM).  This is to study high performance detectors for use on an instrument, which would map accessible water ice deposits on the Martian surface.

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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