A SpaceX Rocket Is Bringing Canadian Tech To The Moon & It Launched Early This Morning
The commercial mission is set to land on the Moon in spring 2023.
Despite Elon Musk's antics over on Twitter, which have been keeping many internet users busy for weeks, the aerospace company he founded has its sights set a little higher than social media. SpaceX's most recent launch of a Falcon 9 rocket took place on December 11 at 2:38 a.m., taking with it two Canadian technologies, according to a recent press release.
The new technologies include a 360-degree imaging system, apparently strengthened by the use of AI, designed to "withstand the harsh lunar environment." Two rovers, one from the U.A.E. and the other Japanese, will be posing for pictures taken by the new Canadian imaging system as they are deployed onto the Moon's surface.
Then, a rover will rely on its flight computer, using unspecified artificial intelligence, to attempt to classify and catalogue different geological landmarks and features on the Moon's surface. This type of analysis is traditionally performed on Earth, but this more advanced flight computer allows for rovers to perform actions independently, which could significantly change how data collection and analysis are done on such flights.
Finally, images from this mission, called ispace Mission 1, will be sent to a company called NGC Aerospace Ltd. The images will be used to prepare for future missions in which the new Canadian technologies will ideally help "guide and support the safe landing of a lunar vehicle, in a precise location."
These efforts have been funded by the Canadian Space Agency through its Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program. "This launch is one more example of Canadian industry leading the way in this thrilling new era of space exploration," said François-Philippe Champagne, Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. "These technologies will help enhance capabilities and lower mission costs while positioning Canada as a partner of choice for future space endeavours."
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.