How Canada Is Joining the Journey Back to the Moon

On Monday, a rocket will launch to orbit the moon as the first step in mankind’s epic return to the moon’s surface.

But this is not the only exciting moment for NASA. This trip to the Moon will be an international collaboration, with Canadian technology and Canadian astronauts leaving a clear mark on lunar history.

Canada is headed for the moon — and Monday is just the beginning.

In less than a decade, scientists have developed a space station called Lunar Gateway, which they hope will serve as a springboard for travel to Mars and beyond, and Canada is developing a rover to explore the lunar surface. increase.

Orbax Thomas, a physicist at the University of Guelph, told CTV National News:

“This will allow scientists to conduct research and learn things from the moon. As we continue to expand to the very bottom of the universe, we will move towards setting up colonies on places like Mars.” As we move forward, we will see how we have the opportunity to learn from the moon, and do so relatively soon when we are home.”

blast off

The mission, named Artemis I, will launch in a two-time window on August 29 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. This is the first test in a series of space exploration systems that NASA and its partners have been working on. Many years.

Utilizing the most powerful rocket mankind has ever built, send an unmanned Orion spacecraft into space to orbit the Moon to collect data and test the spacecraft’s capabilities.

Although there are only mannequins inside Orion, this first test will be crucial for future missions, as the spacecraft is designed to support humans.

Paul Delaney, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of York, told the CTV news channel on Saturday that these mannequins were “filled with radiation detectors and expected exposure to deep space radiation experienced by astronauts. We have confirmed that it is within the limits.” ”

The 300-foot-plus spacecraft will return to Earth after completing a 42-day mission in space and splash out into the ocean to test how future astronauts will get home.

If Artemis I is successful, it will soon be time for Artemis II, the first manned flight to the moon. This is when Canada’s role in lunar exploration begins to become significant.

New Canadaarm, Rover, Canadian on the Moon

Artemis II, currently scheduled for 2024, will see a spacecraft carry four humans into orbit around the Moon for the first time since 1972.

One of these astronauts is from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and will be the first non-American astronaut to go to the moon. Canada will also be his second country where an astronaut has orbited the moon.

Canadian astronauts are guaranteed to take part in another flight to Gateway, the final space station slated to orbit the moon in the future.

Gateway will also be home to the latest version of the iconic Canadarm, one of Canada’s greatest contributions to this phase of space exploration.

In 1981, the first Canadarm debuted in space. These giant robotic arms were mounted on the outside of the space shuttle, controlled by the astronauts inside the shuttle, and used to move objects that the astronauts could not otherwise move.

The Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS) currently hosts Canadarm 2. CanadaArm 2 is permanently attached to the space station and can be controlled from Earth or by astronauts inside the station.

At 8.5 meters long, the Canadaarm 3 will actually be smaller and lighter than its predecessor, but will boast artificial intelligence, six 4k cameras, and other cutting-edge tech.

Orbax points out that the ISS is about 400 kilometers directly above us, while the Gateway is 400,000 kilometers from Earth. It’s the most distant universe in the universe,” he said.

“Not only will it move objects and help the Orion Shuttle dock to the Gateway Space Station itself, but it will actually be used to build the Gateway itself.”

Canadarm 3’s ability to perform some tasks without guidance is very important to the gateway’s functioning once it is built. Due to orbit, there are regular intervals during which the Gateway is completely unable to communicate with its crew on Earth.

According to CSA, Canadarm 3 will even be able to independently run scientific experiments while orbiting the moon.

The Canadarm is one of Canada’s most prominent contributions to space technology. It was Canada’s agreement to provide CanadaArm 3 for Gateway that secured the Canadian astronaut seat on Artemis II.

Once the gateway is built, scientists will be able to travel between the lunar surface and the orbiting Gateway space station.

And soon we will be leaving new footprints on the Moon. As early as 2025, Artemis III could bring its crew to the moon itself.

This mission aims to land the first woman and people of color on the Moon.

Randy Lycans, NASA’s general manager of enterprise solutions, said at a press conference.

Following the return to the moon comes Canada’s first lunar rover.

In 2021, as part of a planned lunar mission with NASA, it was announced that a Canadian rover would land on the moon within the next five years.

CSA has already selected two Canadian companies (MDA and Canadensys) to design the rover concept.

The goal is to create a rover that can survive the moonlit night during a planned two-week mission. His one night on the moon lasts him fourteen days on earth. The environment is very cold and completely dark, which presents a challenge for the rover.

The rover hopes to run missions in the lunar south pole to test scientific instruments that help coordinate functions such as mobility, navigation and thermal management. This information could be useful for future trips to Mars.

The deployment of the mission, which begins on Artemis I on Monday, will be led by NASA, but will also include contributions from the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, as well as CSA.

The next step in this space exploration will begin with a return to the moon, but the goal is to be ready to explore deeper into space, using the lunar outpost as a reference for future research and future space travel. is.

“The universe unites us as people like nothing else,” said Oubax. “Whether you’re an academic, a scientist, or a citizen, it’s hard to believe that everyone has looked up and wondered, ‘What is going on in the universe above us? There will be.”

With file of Christina Tenaria

How Canada Is Joining the Journey Back to the Moon

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