Meet Canadian Astronaut Jeremy Hansen

Canadian technology

These are exciting times for Canada in terms of lunar exploration. As announced in November last year, the Canadian Lunar Rover Mission will be the first ever Canadian-led mission to the surface of another planetary body.


With a launch planned for 2026, our team is making significant progress towards finalizing the design of the rover and its scientific instruments. We are also identifying a shortlist of potential landing sites around the South Pole of the moon.

We won’t have to wait three years, however, for the first Canadian technology to reach the lunar surface.


Just last week, the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 spacecraft successfully went into orbit around the moon after 100 days in space. Onboard the lunar lander scheduled for touchdown in late April are two Canadian payloads funded by the CSA’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program: the MoonNet deep learning software from Mission Control Space Services in Ottawa, and an AI-enabled 360-degree camera from Canadensys Aerospace, based in Bolton, Ont.

In case you missed it, the CSA received funding for the next phase of the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program in the recent federal budget, ensuring that these opportunities for Canadian companies and universities to send technologies to the moon will continue.


In another budget surprise, the government also committed $1.2 billion over 13 years to develop a lunar utility vehicle to assist astronauts on the moon.

Lunar research, terrestrial benefits

As we wait for Artemis II, space agencies are focusing research on how to sustain human presence on the lunar surface. To do so will require innovative solutions to keep astronauts alive and healthy on the lunar surface for up to months at a time.


The surface of the moon is far more extreme than Earth, with no atmosphere and temperatures dropping to a staggering -200 C [-328 F]. However, there are some similarities that remote, isolated communities here on Earth face on a day-to-day basis, particularly in northern Canada.

A major part of keeping astronauts healthy is feeding them. Of course, they could survive on vacuum-sealed meals brought from Earth, but in the long run, this is not sustainable.


Recognizing the similarities of producing food in remote and harsh environments both here on Earth and in space, NASA and the CSA launched the Deep Space Food Challenge to develop new innovative food production technologies.


The hope is that by figuring out how to grow food on the moon, the technologies can also be used here on Earth to address growing food shortages.

Now that the Artemis II crew has been announced, they will be spending every minute of their available time preparing for the mission. For Hansen, this will entail learning the hundreds of different systems on the Orion spacecraft.


Hopefully, it will also include a geology refresher so that he can better understand what he sees as he flies around the moon.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.