The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) officially announced the first contracts related to Canada’s goal of being an important participant in the ongoing science and future commercialization of the Moon.
The contracts were awarded to six organizations for the Lunar Surface Autonomous Science Payloads (LSASP) initiative which is part of the larger Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP).
The CSA teased in a tweet yesterday that “Canada is launching the next chapter of lunar exploration. Stay tuned for an important announcement tomorrow. #DareToExplore”.
Canada is launching the next chapter of lunar exploration.— CanadianSpaceAgency (@csa_asc) February 25, 2020
Stay tuned for an important announcement tomorrow. #DareToExplore pic.twitter.com/HttL9NQnPD
However, regular readers of SpaceQ already knew of five of the seven contracts as we announced the first one on January 10 and four more on January 17. The CSA can’t be blamed for releasing the news after SpaceQ had previously announced most of the contracts. The timing of the announcement is dependent on the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry’s office.
The news today comes on the heels of the CSA announcing a new opportunity last week related to the LEAP program.
Here are the seven contracts. New to the list that we hadn’t published yet are contracts to Bubble Technology Industries Inc. and Western University.
- ABB (Quebec) will receive $693,193 to design, build and test the prototype for an autonomous lunar exploration infrared spectrometer that will remotely measure and study the mineralogical composition of the Moon’s surface.
- Bubble Technology Industries Inc. (Ontario) will receive $698,321 to develop a spectrometer that will autonomously search for hydrogen to indicate the presence of water and ice near the Moon’s surface.
- Canadensys Aerospace Corporation (Ontario) will receive two contracts worth a total of $1,099,366 to develop concept designs, technologies and prototypes for two different classes of small Canadian lunar science rovers – a nano-rover and a micro-rover.
- Magellan Aerospace (Manitoba) will receive $607,258 to develop a lunar impactor probe that will deliver instruments to the surface of the Moon, including sensors to detect water in the permanently shadowed regions of the Moon.
- Mission Control Space Services Inc. (Ontario) will receive $573,829 to advance an Autonomous Soil Assessment System as an AI-based science support tool for rovers navigating on the Moon.
- Western University (Ontario) will receive $690,123 to develop an integrated vision system for surface operations that will be used for identification of the geology of the lunar surface and for rover navigation.
The total value of the contracts $4.36 million.
Minister Bains said of the announcement “Our Government is positioning Canada’s space sector to reach for the Moon and beyond. This investment will help Canadian businesses bring their technologies to market, creating opportunities for them to join the growing space economy while supporting Canada to achieve world firsts in space science and exploration.”