Canadian astronauts will start flying to the moon in 2023 with NASA's Artemis missions

Canadian astronauts will start flying to the moon in 2023 with NASA's Artemis missions

December 28, 2020

Canada plans to send two astronauts on moon-bound missions.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced Wednesday, Dec. 16, that a Canadian astronaut will fly around the moon in 2023 on the Artemis 2 mission — the first crewed mission of NASA's Artemis program — that will test NASA's Orion spacecraft in lunar orbit to prepare for a 2024 landing. A second CSA astronaut will participate in a subsequent mission to NASA's forthcoming Gateway space station in lunar orbit.

The forthcoming flight announcements are part of a larger memorandum of agreement between Canada and NASA, also announced Wednesday, formally pledging collaboration on the Artemis moon program that Canada said it would commit to nearly 18 months ago. 

Simply put, Canada will provide robotics to NASA, and in exchange NASA will give CSA astronauts opportunities to fly lunar missions, potentially even with more astronauts landing on the moon in the future, officials said in a virtual press conference. 

"This will make Canada only the second country after the U.S. to have an astronaut in deep space … and send the first Canadian around the moon," Navdeep Bains, Canada's government minister of innovation, science and industry, told reporters in the press conference.

The only people who have ventured out of Earth orbit so far are a handful of American Apollo astronauts, over nine missions between 1968 and 1972, but NASA wants its Artemis program to include extensive international participation.


Author : Emily


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