Canada Looking to Make Bionic Contributions to Future Moon Flights

Canadian-built eyes could guide lunar rovers

“When NASA returns to the moon, Canadian-built eyes could show its lunar rovers where to drive.

“A team from Ottawa’s Neptec Design Group, a NASA prime contractor, has just returned from two weeks of testing its new guidance system in Hawaii.

So far, the news is good. Neptec’s laser system steered a lunar rover around the barren slopes and sharp rocks 275 metres up the side of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano.”

Robotics might be Canada’s ticket to moon

A new super-Canadarm that’s already on the drawing board could be some lucky Canadian astronaut’s ticket for a ride to the moon.

The next generation in Canadian robotics bears a family resemblance to its ancestors in the Canadarm clan.

It would fit NASA’s newest model of spaceship, called Orion – designed to travel to the moon for the first time since 1972. A test flight is scheduled for 2012.

“NASA has a definite interest in robotics for Orion,” said Steve Oldham, general manager of satellite missions and robotics at MDA Corp., builders of the past Canadarms.