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

Tourism Fernie hosts annual general meeting

Last Thursday, Tourism Fernie held its annual general meeting, which was well… Continue reading

Timber Chair to undergo makeover

A popular chairlift at Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) will run more smoothly… Continue reading

Fernie public works yard set for complete overhaul

City of Fernie considers $5m overhaul of aging public works buildings; awards design contract

Teck to compensate Sparwood residents for dust

House cleaning among mitigation measures pitched by focus group; plus former Mayor joins SCEEAC

Delays dash hopes of Fernie curling season

Leaky floor fix takes longer than expected; City offers to extend ice plant operation for bonspiel

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Fernie Ghostriders host annual banquet, present player awards

MVP of the season was awarded to Brendan Nemes

Elk Valley swimmers set records at provincials

Five senior athletes from the Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club qualified for the Kamloops competition

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

Most Read