2019.05.28

Canadian Space Dream Dampened by Trump

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an announcement on 28th February that Canada would be soon venturing to the moon. This was possible because of Canada’s involvement with the Lunar Gateway Project of NASA. This announcement brought in celebrations from the people of the country as this is considered as a landmark achievement for the nation as well as for the Astro-scientists of Canada. But this joy and national pride was not meant to last as Donald J Trump, the US President had some other agenda, irrespective of NASA’s original intentions. 

As per the initial announcement of the PM, it was understood that the involvement of Canada would involve supplying of a robotic arm which would be able to maintain the space station remotely once in the orbit of the moon. Canada-based MDA Corp. is the main company which is responsible for the development of the robotic arm. At that time, the Prime Minister promised $2 billion for the advancement of the Lunar Gateway Project along with the expertise and tech assistance provided by MDA Corp. 

The New Timeline

The Trump administration’s problem emanated because of a change in schedule. For some obscure reason and for the opposition from many at NASA itself, Trump’s planned time frame of the project by 2028 does not stand any good anymore. Rather the whole schedule has been brought forward to 2024.

Mike Pence, US Vice President also made an announcement that the next man and the first woman on the moon would definitely be an American. As per Pence, the Americans will be rocketed to the moon and space by American technology, which will be developed on American soil. 

Now the silver bullet of complete Wipeout has been fired in the direction of technology, which is Canadian developed. This happens despite the fact that NASA has been long pestering MDA Corp. for making the Canadian-developed robotic tech available to Lunar Gateway Project. 

Not all are discouraged

The Canadian Space Agency has announced something after the discouraging update. It has said that the fund of $2 billion which had been given in favor of the project, will not be included in the upcoming national budget of the country. CSA has provided an official reason as unexpected alterations in the timeline regarding the Lunar Gateway Project. 

As per a Canadian scientist, this is not all bad news. As per Alex Ellery, who is the Associate Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University in Ottawa, the funds which are allotted towards the robotic arm project will be used till the last cent and will be used for Canadian space technology. There would be no funds left to allocate to anyone but to MDA Corp. 

Ellery also opined that there is no need of any orbiting space station for placing humans on the surface of the moon. As per the scientist, the space station will be nothing more than a white elephant.

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