This post is dedicated to the Canadian Space Agency’s exciting announcement earlier this month about joining the Lunar Gateway project. Canada is the first international partner of NASA’s Lunar Gateway space station project. Canada will contribute a “Canadaarm3”, a smart robotic arm which will operate autonomously, to repair and maintain the Gateway. Canadarm3 will be similar in function to the Canadarm2 aboard the International Space Station (ISS); the main arm to do large-scale work for repairs and spacewalks. This is a significant step for Canada and it marks the nation’s place in the next chapter of space exploration.
A brief summary of the Lunar Gateway:
The Lunar Gateway is an international project (led by NASA) to develop and build a lunar-orbit space station about one-fifth of the size of the ISS. The gateway will serve many functions including a science lab, a testbed for new technologies, a short-term habitation module, and a mission control centre for operations on the Moon and other deep-space missions. In simpler terms, it will almost serve as a “pit stop” station on route to the first crewed mission to Mars and other future missions. Building this space station around the Moon is important because it provides a better understanding of the possible health effects of cosmic radiation on astronauts, access to the lunar surface which allows us to learn more about the origin and evolution of our solar system, and an easier return to Earth.