New Canadian Studies Selected for ISS Research

David Saint-Jacques took ultrasound images of his blood vessels for Vascular Echo, a Canadian study led by Dr. Richard Hughson of the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency/NASA)

Longueuil, Quebec (CSA PR) — The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) recently awarded funding to Canadian researchers to study the effects of space flight on the human body. The results of the studies could help support longer missions to more distant destinations like the Moon or Mars.

(more…)

CSA Strengthens Long-term Partnership with ESA

SEVILLE, Spain (CSA PR) — The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) took part in the Ministerial Council of the European Space Agency (ESA) on  November 27–28, 2019, in Seville, Spain. This high-level meeting is held every two to three years to make important decisions regarding Europe’s future space activities. Canada is the only non-European cooperating state of ESA.

Following broad consultations with Canada’s space sector, the CSA is investing approximately $60 million (€37.2 million) in the ESA  programmes that have been strategically selected as areas most likely to benefit Canadian industry: Earth observation, satellite communications, exploration and technology development.

These investments are aligned with the Space Strategy for Canada. Past investments in ESA have resulted in opportunities for Canadian companies worth almost three times the value of the initial contract.

Canada and ESA have been cooperating in space activities for over 40  years in order to provide Canadian organizations with access to European markets, and to foster collaboration in science. The partnership also provides Canada’s space sector with access to data from ESA missions and infrastructure. In June 2019, Canada renewed its treaty-level  agreement  with ESA until 2030.

Canadarm2 to Capture Dragon Cargo Ship as Canadian Science Continues

Spacewalker Luca Parmitano is guided on the Canadarm2 robotic arm toward the work site on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, the space station’s cosmic particle detector. (Credit: NASA)

LONGUEUIL, Quebec (CSA PR) — On December 4, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will launch from Cape Canaveral aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, destined for the International Space Station (ISS).

Three days later, European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA’s Jessica Meir will use Canadarm2 to capture the unpiloted vehicle. Robotics flight controllers will then berth it to the Station, where it is expected to remain for about a month.

The resupply mission includes equipment for ongoing Canadian heart study Vascular Aging:

  • two glucose test kits, which help researchers measure insulin resistance in space; and
  • three Bio-Monitor smart shirts, part of an innovative Canadian-made system that simplifies scientific data collection by easily tracking astronaut vital signs in space.

The upcoming cosmic catch marks a return to more typical activities for the 17-metre-long robotic arm. During recent spacewalks to repair the  ISS‘s cosmic particle detector, Canadarm2 served as a support for Parmitano, who was anchored to Canadarm2’s foot restraint. Throughout the operations, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen guided the spacewalkers from the Mission Control Center in Houston.

Live coverage of Dragon’s launch will be available on NASA TV on  Dec. 4, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Rendezvous and capture operations will also be broadcast on December 7, starting at 4:30 a.m. ET.

NASA IG: Decide Future of the International Space Station Soon

The International Space Station as it appears in 2018. Zarya is visible at the center of the complex, identifiable by its partially retracted solar arrays. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The sooner NASA can decide the future of the International Space Station (ISS), the easier it will be for the space agency to pursue its Artemis program to return astronauts to the moon by 2020, according to a new report from its Office of Inspector General (OIG).

“Whether NASA decides to extend, increase commercialization of, or retire the ISS, the timing of each of these decisions has a cascading effect on the funding available to support space flight operations in low Earth orbit, ambitions for establishing a permanent presence on the Moon, and ultimately sending humans to Mars,” the report stated.

(more…)

PoSSUM Completes First Commercial Gravity-offset EVA Spacesuit Test at CSA

EVA suit test (Credit: Project PoSSUM)

Project PoSSUM scientist-astronaut candidates complete first gravity-offset tests of the Final Frontier Design EVA space suit prototype with the collaboration of the Canadian Space Agency.

MONTREAL (Project PoSSUM PR) – A team of sixteen Project PoSSUM citizen-scientists recently completed a series of gravity-offset tests and evaluations of an Extravehicular Activity (EVA) space suit prototype at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) headquarters near Montreal, Quebec. The space suit was developed by Final Frontier Design of Brooklyn, NY and these series of tests mark the first gravity-offset tests of a commercial EVA space suit, an essential step towards its certification.

(more…)

Astronauts Invite Educators, Young Canadians to Participate in Junior Astronauts Campaign

SAINT-HUBERT, Quebec (CSA PR) — Canadian Space Agency astronauts Jenni Sidey-Gibbons and David Saint-Jacques, along with grade 6 student Hannah, invite Canadian educators and youth in grades 6 to 9 to register to the Junior Astronauts campaign.

Young Canadians can test their skills and knowledge through the Canadian Space Agency’s Junior Astronauts campaign with online activities in science and technology, fitness and nutrition, and teamwork and communications.

Selected kids from across Canada will have the opportunity to come to the Canadian Space Agency in Saint-Hubert, Quebec for a week of training by astronauts, scientists and engineers.

Participating teachers, educators and youth group leaders will also have an opportunity to win a visit by an astronaut or space expert to their school or youth organization.

Controlling Robots Across Oceans and Space

A prototype rover is commanded to drive in and sample a quarry resembling a lunar site. The image shows a virtual reality impression of the test. The rover is a key element of the ESA-led Heracles mission in cooperation with the Canadian Space Agency CSA and Japan’s JAXA space agency. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

PARIS (ESA PR) — This Autumn is seeing a number of experiments controlling robots from afar, with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano directing a robot in The Netherlands and engineers in Germany controlling a rover in Canada.

(more…)

Canadian Laser Maps Potential OSIRIS-REx Sample Sites, Completes Global 3D View of Asteroid Bennu

These detailed views of four potential sample sites on asteroid Bennu (complete with boulders, craters and other geological features) are based on a series of measurements taken by the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA), the Canadian laser instrument aboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Image creation: Michael Daly, Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science, York University (Credit: NASA/University of Arizona/Canadian Space Agency/York University/MDA)

Longueuil, Quebec (CSA PR) –– A made-in-Canada laser aboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has produced high-resolution topographic maps of the four locations on asteroid Bennu that mission scientists have identified as candidates for sample collection.

(more…)

ISS Multilateral Coordination Board Endorses Lunar Gateway

Gateway with Orion over the Moon (Credit: ESA/NASA/ATG Medialab)

ISS Multilateral Coordination Board Joint Statement

The International Space Station (ISS) Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) met on August 6, 2019. Its members[1] acknowledged the recent 50th anniversary of the first human steps on the lunar surface during the Apollo 11 mission, praised the ongoing important work of the ISS, and discussed opportunities for the future of human exploration on and around the Moon and forward to Mars.  

(more…)

Aethera’s New RF Power Processing Unit for Ad Astra’s VASIMR Engine Completes Full Power Acceptance Tests

WEBSTER, Texas USA and HALIFAX, NS, Canada – A new generation radio-frequency (RF) Power Processing Unit (PPU) for the VASIMR engine, built by Aethera Technologies Ltd. of Canada, has completed a series of full power acceptance tests at Ad Astra Rocket Company’s Texas facility near Houston. The unit completed these tests on August 12 by operating in a thermal steady-state with no anomalies at its full power rating of 120 kW.

The RF PPU is now ready to be incorporated into Ad Astra’s vacuum facility so that it can be tested with the VX- 200SS VASIMR prototype. These tests are part of Ad Astra’s ongoing program under the NASA NextSTEP partnership contract.

(more…)

Canadian Space Robot Dextre to Expand Ability to Refuel Spacecraft in Orbit

Rendering of Dextre on the end of Canadarm2, holding an advanced vision system. (Credit: CSA/Neptec)

LONGUEUIL, Quebec (CSA PR) — From August 13 to 14, Dextre, Canada’s robotic handyman on the International Space Station, will conduct a demonstration of how robots could refuel satellites and spacecraft to extend their useful lifetimes.

NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) will use Dextre’s proven ability to perform highly delicate tasks on the International Space Station, to test the hardware and procedures needed to store and transfer cryogenic fluids.

(more…)

CSA Releases Tender for Autonomous Lunar Surface Science Payloads

The moon rising over Half Moon Bay, California on Halloween 2009. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Concept Studies and Technology Developments for Lunar Surface Autonomous Science Payloads (LSASP)

https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-MTB-770-15431/list-of-interested-suppliers

Description

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) on behalf of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) located in St-Hubert, (Quebec), is seeking bids to conduct concept studies and technology developments for Lunar Surface Autonomous Science Payloads. These activities correspond with the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) priorities and mission roadmaps.

This Priority Technology (PT) is specified in APPENDIX A-5 of ANNEX A and the work solicited is the development and advancement of this technology up to potentially TRL 6 (Technology Readiness Levels), (see APPENDIX A-1 of ANNEX A) to reduce technical uncertainties and support approval and implementation of specific potential future space missions of interest to Canada.

Up to six (6) contract is expected to be awarded. For additional information, please refer to Part 4 – Evaluation Procedures and Basis of Selection, of the bid solicitation.

Maximum Funding

The maximum funding available for each Contract resulting from the bid solicitation is $700,000.00 [US $526,397] per contract (Applicable Taxes extra).

Period of Contract

From date of award for up to 18 months.

Intellectual Property

The Intellectual property will vest with the contractor.