Thursday, July 08, 2010

Canada Going To The Moon?

With nothing much in the news but some lousy polls, I visited the Merx site, where the feds and the provinces host their RFPS. There I found (dated today) this truly odd tender for Lunar Exploration Rovers:

On behalf of Canadian Space Agency (CSA) located in St-Hubert,Quebec, bids are requested from bidders to develop two (2) Lunar Exploration Light Rover (LELR) prototypes (including one copy per prototype) focusing on tasks such as robotic operations on the Moon for human precursor mission, sample collection and scientific investigations with potential to be upgradeable for short distance unpressurized crew transportation for nominally one (1) and potentially two (2) astronauts.

That's strange in several ways. For one thing, the feds seem only willing to pay

.... $11,000,00.00 for each LELR prototype,including one copy of the prototype,, Goods and Services Tax or Harmonized Sales Tax extra, as appropriate.

...but presumably that's a typo. And if they really are willing to pay $1,100,000, on the other hand, then that's very weird because President Obama has basically killed George W.'s Project Constellation (the return to the moon program, in advance of a manned Mars mission). So I wonder how our lunar rovers would get there in the first place.

There's nothing on the topic in the CSA's latest presser.

Updated briefly here.

6 comments:

surecure said...

The United States isn't the only country to have developed a lunar mission in recent years. Considering Iffy just got back from China, you'd think more Liberals would be aware of the Chinese lunar missions in development (original timing for manned mission: 2012).

Also, India has been spinning up their own lunar missions which they hope to culminate with a manned mission in 2015. And Europe has their own Aurora Program with planning of around 2024 and Russia in 2025.

Obama has more important goals for the US space program like, I don't know... better relations with the Muslim world. Gotta love that separation of Church and State!

bigcitylib said...

I know China has a lunar mission in dev. I can't see how we would be involved in that.

surecure said...

You might also notice that the robotic design is for a human precursor mission with upgrades for human crew... precursor meaning before human missions.

Either way, Canada doesn't solely work with NASA. Canada has been involved in technological development work for the European Space Agency since 1979.

surecure said...

Also, if you're not sure what the Canadian Space Agency would be doing with China, why don't you ask your Liberal MP from Westmount Ville-Marie, Marc Garneau. After all, he traveled to China to represent the CSA in talks with the Chinese National Space Administration back in '05. And the Chinese have been in negotiations with Canada before to Canadarm technology.

bigcitylib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bigcitylib said...

Surecure,

Quite true, but it certainly looks like, if the U.S. returns a man to the moon, we want to build their moon buggies. Which is great. But NASA is looking pretty wobbly these days, and return to the the moon mission I think is in some doubt.