The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway is a proposed NASA program that would carry astronauts to the moon to build and operate a lunar space station.
The hardware and mission design are still in the early stages of development, but the project has already secured its first international partnership. Canada is going to be working on a smart robotic arm that will be used to repair and maintain Gateway.
The announcement was made at an event at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) headquarters near Montreal on Feb 28 by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Canadarm 3 is going to be the successor of Canadarm 2 which is aboard the International Space Station.
Canadarm3 will comprise a main arm to do large-scale work and a smaller one to carry out tasks that need a lot of dexterity.
Also, in attendance at the CSA event was Marc Garneau, who became the first Canadian in space when he flew on a NASA space shuttle in 1984. Of the new robotic arm, he said:
"It will constitute, really, the next phase of our exploration in space. It's tremendously significant to Canada to be taking this next step in space exploration."
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine also issued a statement about the new partnership with the CSA
“Today, Canada leads the world in space-based robotic capabilities, enabling critical repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope and construction of the International Space Station. Our new collaboration on Gateway will enable our broader international partnership to get to the Moon and eventually to Mars."
For more information about the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway click here.