NASA is firming up plans on its lunar space station in order to send humans back to the moon, and it’s teaming up with Canada to get the job done. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed at a press conference that Canada is the space agency’s first international partner on the project.
Trudeau announced at the Canadian Space Agency’s headquarters in Montreal that the country will give US$1.5 billion to NASA’s Lunar Space Station, which is called Gateway, reports TechSpot.
“Our participation in the lunar gateway ushers in a new era of Canadian excellence in space,” Trudeau noted.
NASA aims to send humans to the moon in the 2020s. Part of the process will involve constructing the Gateway station in lunar orbit. Gateway will feature a habitable environment for astronauts where they can live for 30 to 60 days as they ready themselves to land on the moon.
In the past, NASA sought international partners for the International Space Station (ISS) and is doing the same thing for its upcoming mini space station.
“NASA is thrilled that Canada is the first international partner for the Gateway lunar outpost,” commented NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Our new collaboration on Gateway will enable our broader international partnership to get to the Moon and eventually to Mars.”
Canada will dole out the $1.5 billion over 24 years. One of its tasks will be developing a new type of “Canadarm” robotic arm. Canadarm 1 and 2 were integral in building and maintaining the ISS. They have also been used to help repair the Hubble telescope. Canadarm3 will be used to build Gateway, according to Trudeau.
Canada has played a valuable role in space exploration. It was the third country in the world to launch a satellite into orbit and has aided the ISS since the beginning.