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…)

A New Journey into Earth for Space Exploration

Astronauts from five space agencies around the world take part in ESA’s CAVES training course– Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills. (Credit: ESA – A. Romeo)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Six astronauts, five space agencies and a fresh start into underground worlds to help prepare for living on other planets. ESA’s latest training adventure will equip an international crew with skills to explore uncharted terrains on the Moon and Mars, this time with a focus on the search for water.

(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.

Look, No Hands! NASA’s First Astrobee Robot “Bumble” Starts Flying in Space

NASA’s Astrobee robot, named Bumble, demonstrates a baby step of free flight by rotating in space. Astronaut David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency watches over while flight controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center command Bumble. NASA astronaut Nick Hague photographs the occasion. (Credits: NASA)

ABOARD THE ISS (NASA PR) — On June 14, a robot named Bumble became the first Astrobee robot to fly under its own power in space. Astrobee is a free-flying robot system that will help researchers test new technologies in zero gravity and perform routine work alongside astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Robots that can operate on their own in space, such as Astrobee, can be caretakers for NASA’s lunar gateway and will play a significant part in NASA’s future missions to explore the Moon and Mars.

(more…)











Cybersecurity from Space: Canadian Government Invests in Quantum Technology

LONGUEUIL, Quebec (CSA PR) — Our digital economy depends on keeping data safe from hackers. Cybersecurity is a priority for the Government of Canada. The Canadian Space Agency’s Quantum EncrYption and Science Satellite (QEYSSat) mission will test quantum technology that protects communications in space.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is awarding a contract worth $30 million to Honeywell for the design and implementation phases of the QEYSSat mission.

(more…)











Mission Control Secures $250k from Canadian Space Agency to Develop Commercial Lunar Mission Software

OTTAWA, Ont. (Mission Control PR) — Mission Control is excited to announce the support of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for their ongoing development of Mission Control Software for the next generation of commercial space exploration missions. Through the Space Technology Development Program, the CSA will contribute $250k [USD $187,441] to the development of this technology which will help position Mission Control to participate in near term robotic missions to the Moon.

“With ongoing programs such as NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Service, a new wave of commercial space exploration is about to break,” said Dr. Michele Faragalli, Chief Technology Officer of Mission Control. “Rovers and other robotic systems will play an essential role in commercial exploration of the Moon.” Current rover technology is expensive and requires continuous management by operators back on Earth. Rover based exploration will be more cost-effective if more tasks can be performed autonomously onboard, and with more flexible options available for the mission operators on earth.

(more…)











RUAG Space’s Unique Tilting Satellite Dispenser System Takes Flight with RADARSAT Mission

Credit: RUAG Space

BERN, Switzerland (RUAG Space PR) — Using its rich heritage of designing and building satellite dispensers, RUAG Space developed a unique satellite Dispenser that enables three large radar Earth observation satellites to simultaneously launch on a single launcher.

The Dispenser system connected the spacecraft to the launcher and ensured safe separation in orbit using a first-of-its-kind tilting mechanism. RUAG Space delivered the tilting Dispenser System to MDA, a Maxar company, to support the Canadian Space Agency’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), which launched Wednesday, June 12 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA.

(more…)











Canada’s Next-generation RADARSAT Satellite Constellation Successfully Launches to Space

Radarsat constellation (Credit: CSA)

Longueuil, Quebec, June 12, 2019 (CSA PR) – Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) was launched successfully into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 10:17 a.m. Eastern time from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The constellation of three satellites will provide daily images of Canada’s vast territory and maritime approaches, as well as images of the Arctic, up to four times a day. It will have daily access to 90 per cent of the world’s surface. The RCM is also equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS), allowing improved detection and tracking of ships, including those conducting illegal fishing.
(more…)