FILE - This Dec. 24, 1968, file photo made available by NASA shows the Earth behind the surface of the moon during the Apollo 8 mission. (William Anders/NASA via AP, File)

‘Canada is going to the moon’: Trudeau announces partnership in NASA-led quest

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is embarking on the creation of its new Lunar Gateway

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday that Canada will be a partner in a NASA-led project to establish an outpost for lunar exploration.

“Canada is going to the moon,” Trudeau declared as he made the announcement at the Canadian Space Agency in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is embarking on the creation of its new Lunar Gateway, a space station that will orbit the moon. The station is expected to be fully functional around 2026.

“The Lunar Gateway will be one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by human beings to date,” Trudeau said. “Not only will this moon outpost allow for a long-term lunar presence but it will also serve as a launch pad to Mars and beyond.”

The plan calls for a “sustainable lunar architecture” that would allow people and equipment to go back and forth to the moon regularly, NASA says. It is described as a first step toward deeper space exploration.

READ MORE: Trump signs order to create US Space Command

Trudeau said the partnership in the Lunar Gateway will be part of a new federal space strategy that will see the government invest $2.05 billion over 24 years. He said the investment will create hundreds of well-paying jobs and contribute $100 million annually to Canada’s gross domestic product.

Canada’s key contribution to the Lunar Gateway will be developing a smart robotic system, to be known as Canadarm 3. The mechanism will repair and maintain the outpost, which will be about one-fifth the size of the International Space Station.

“Canadarm was essential to the space shuttle, Canadarm 2 built the International Space Station, so it’s only fitting and right that the arm that will repair and maintain the Lunar Gateway will yet again be made in Canada by Canadians,” Trudeau said.

Last November, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine visited Ottawa to make a pitch for Canadian involvement in the moon project. He said at the time that he hoped Canadian expertise in artificial intelligence and robotics could yield a new Canadarm. “If Canadians want to be involved in missions to the surface of the moon with astronauts, we welcome that,” he added.

U.S. ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft said in a statement that Thursday’s announcement marks “the beginning of a new era of U.S.-Canada space co-operation.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

School District announces staffing changes

Paul Luck and Monica Doyle have been named principals of Trafalgar, South Nelson

David Hogg named Nelson’s 2018 Citizen of the Year

Hogg has led the Kootenay Kiltie Pipe Band for 30 years

Two missing in Pend d’Oreille crash

A 15-year-old male and 18-year-old female both from Fruitvale are missing and presumed deceased

LETTERS: Joining climate strike wasn’t skipping school

From readers Loreena Semple and Art Joyce

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

B.C. RCMP stop cyclist with no helmet, find out he’s wanted for murder

Kyle Antonio Dias, 19, to face second-degree murder charge in Toronto

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation welcomes new leader

Teri Mooring will take over as president this summer

Disappearance of Merritt cowboy now deemed suspicious: police

Ben Tyner was reported missing when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road

Distillers hope federal budget scraps alcohol escalator tax

Tax hike set for April 1, marking third automatic increase in three years time

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

‘The whole city has changed:’ B.C. woman in New Zealand reacts to mosque attacks

An expatriate and Muslim students at UBC Okanagan deeply affected by white supremacist shooting

Trudeau condemns hateful, ‘toxic segments’ of society after New Zealand shooting

Prime Minister expressed sorrow at the many attacks in recent years

Air Canada grounds its Boeing Max 8s until at least July 1 to provide certainty

Airlines around the world have been working to redeploy their fleets since their Max 8s were grounded last week

Most Read