Canada is announcing a new “astronaut mission” on Wednesday (November 22), and you can watch the event live.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will host a livestream on its YouTube channel and Facebook at 9:30 a.m. ET (14:30 GMT), officials said. Posted in X (Formerly Twitter). The event will be held at CSA headquarters near Montreal, Quebec. We will simulcast this announcement on Space.com when a livestream becomes available.
As with all crew assignments, you won’t know who is assigned to what mission until the event takes place. There are three active CSA astronauts: physician David-Saint-Jacques (who flew 204 days to the International Space Station in 2018-2019) and fire scientist Jenny Saidi-Gibbons (first qualified to fly in space). ), Joshua Kutlik (military military pilot) who qualified for the first spaceflight).
CSA’s fourth and only active astronaut will be busy for a long time with other missions already announced. In April 2023, Jeremy Hansen was assigned to his NASA Artemis 2 mission, which will take him around the moon by the end of 2024. This is the new announcement. This month marks the second time in a calendar year that CSA has announced new astronaut assignments.
Related: Artemis 2 astronaut Jeremy Hansen says Canadians will one day walk on the moon
Canada has been contributing robotics to NASA’s human space program since the late 1970s, starting with the Canada Arm on the Space Shuttle, continuing with newer robotics on the ISS, and adding the next generation of robots to the NASA Gateway near the Moon. He promised to fly it on the space station. It will be completed sometime in the second half of this decade.
Typically, Canada receives astronaut seats (along with some science) for robotics research. The current ISS agreement gives Canada a 2.3% share of the orbital complex in exchange for NASA’s use of the Canadarm2 robotic arm and Dextre robotic helper. The agreement equates to a long-duration spaceflight by CSA approximately every six years at current flight speeds. The last such excursion was the Saint-Jacques trip in 2018-2019.
But recently, new options for spaceflight have appeared. Canada has committed to supplying Canadarm3 to Gateway in March 2019, and will also participate in the NASA-led Artemis moon exploration mission. (Artemis 2 is the first such mission under the Canadarm3 program, but more missions are expected eventually.) In addition, Canada will continue to operate the Based on a memorandum of understanding with Axiom Space, which is home to the spacecraft, there is a possibility that it will request short-term missions to the ISS. (Axiom will carry out a roughly two-week mission to the ISS using the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, commanded by a former NASA astronaut.)
CSA has received a large amount of space funding in recent years, including a lunar utility vehicle to support the Artemis astronauts, funding to operate on the ISS until 2030, and a small lunar probe with a goal of landing in 2026. has been done. In 2023, the Canadian government has promised to streamline start-up regulations to support emerging industries. Maritime Launch Services is currently expanding its launch pad for eventual orbital flight to the Nova Scotia coast on the Atlantic Ocean.
However, given Canada’s small tax base for space funding, meaning fewer opportunities for government-funded spaceflights, it is rare for multiple CSA astronauts to receive announcements (or spaceflights) at the same time. . The only time two CSA astronauts worked together in space was for a few days in 2009, when astronaut Julie Payette (aboard STS-127) joined the Space Shuttle crew on the 20th/21st We visited astronaut Bob Thirsk on his next long-term mission to the ISS.
For a time in the 1990s, additional government space funding allowed CSA astronauts to fly frequently on the Space Shuttle, but the spacecraft at the time only carried about seven astronauts at a time every few months. It was taking me to space. Remarkably, Marc Garneau and Thirsk flew just one month apart in 1996 on STS-77 in May and STS-78 in June, respectively. And the Canadian astronaut flew on a space shuttle flight at least once a year between 1995 and his 2001.
After 2001, CSA astronauts flew fewer flights as the Space Shuttle was retired, although brief flights were made in 2006, 2007, and 2009. CSA then moved on to long-duration flights to the ISS (along with other space station partners). These were in 2009, 2012-13, and 2018-19, before recent changes in global spaceflight enabled government-sponsored axiomatic spaceflights and lunar flights.
To be sure, Canadians have flown into space through other means, including joining NASA’s astronaut corps and funding their own spaceflights. Recent examples include NASA’s Drew Fostel (his ISS commander in 2018) and entrepreneur Mark Passey (who paid for a seat on his Ax-1 ISS mission in 2021) It is included. Canadian actor and Star Trek captain William Shatner also spent a few minutes in space aboard the suborbital Blue Origin flight in October 2021.