From pioneering satellite communications technologies to building the ‘Canadarm’ and space-based radar systems, Canada has made key contributions to space science and technology for close to six decades. Investing in science, innovation, and research unlocks new opportunities for economic growth, creates thousands of jobs for hard-working Canadians, and helps us understand the world we live in and our place in it.
Fifty years after the Moon landing, space exploration is entering a new chapter – and Canada will play a big role in it. The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced Canada’s new partnership in the NASA-led Lunar Gateway – a project that will see humans return to the Moon and set the stage for further exploration to Mars.
The Gateway is a Moon outpost that will provide living space for astronauts, a docking station for visiting spacecraft, and laboratories for research. Canada will develop and contribute a smart robotic system – Canadarm3 – that will repair and maintain the Gateway.
Canada’s partnership in the Gateway ushers in a new era of Canadian excellence in space, and will be the cornerstone of Canada’s new, ambitious space strategy. The Government of Canada will invest $2.05 billion over 24 years for Canada’s space program. This investment will create hundreds of good, well-paying jobs over the next ten years – from scientists and engineers to technicians and computer programmers – and will contribute $100 million annually to Canada’s gross domestic product.
It will also help grow innovative Canadian companies of all sizes by supporting the development of new digital and artificial intelligence-based technologies, and by opening new markets for Canadian businesses.
This investment will also give Canadian astronauts the opportunity to participate in missions to space and our scientists a chance to conduct cutting-edge research that cannot be done on Earth.
The investment includes $150 million over five years in support for a new Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program. Drawing on Canada’s expertise as a world leader in innovation, this program will help small and medium-sized businesses in Canada develop new technologies to be used and tested in lunar orbit and on the Moon’s surface in fields that include artificial intelligence, robotics, and health.
Later today, in a town hall with Canadian students, the Prime Minister will also launch a junior astronaut recruitment initiative to begin this fall. The initiative will inspire the next generation of astronauts and get young Canadians excited about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Top-performing participants will train with astronauts at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters.
Space exploration increases our knowledge of our planet and universe, and encourages research and discoveries that will create new business opportunities here in Canada and improve our daily lives. Through these investments, the Government of Canada is supporting future generations of innovators and explorers, and ensuring that Canadians are ready to take advantage of the jobs and industries of tomorrow.
Source: Prime Minister of Canada