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Astronaut tours Bolton facility ahead of space mission

November 1, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons

A mission into space starts on the ground.
And praising the efforts of the Canadian space industry is all in a day’s work for astronauts.
Canadian Mission Specialist Jeremy Hansen toured Canadensys Aerospace Corp. in Bolton, along with Canadian Space Agency (CSA) representatives, getting a first-hand look at local talent and genius.
Hansen and his colleagues will be aboard Artemis II on its 10-day mission to the moon and back. It’s scheduled to launch in November of 2024.
Hansen noted he’s an advocate for the Canadian space industry. He’s taken part in numerous tours and presentations with CSA to showcase Canada’s role in space exploration.
He’s more than happy to “play my small part” in promoting Canadian prowess.
He was quite interested in the technology and processes created by Canadensys, intently listing to details of the systems being developed. The astronaut is unassuming and even humble.
He noted most average Canadians don’t know about the “genius” that exists in Canada, adding he’s quite impressed with the work undertaken by Canadensys. Success is hard-fought he said, adding people will one day look back at the work done within the walls of Canadensys.
The astronauts are training for the mission as equipment becomes available. The foursome will share duties and all are training for every job in the vehicle. He said he will get a chance to fly Artemis II at one point during the mission.
Astronauts on their first flight aboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft will travel farther into the solar system than humanity has ever traveled before. Their mission will be to confirm all of the spacecraft’s systems operate as designed with crew aboard in the actual environment of deep space. The Artemis II flight test will be NASA’s first mission with crew and will pave the way to land the first woman and next man on the Moon on Artemis III. Building on those early missions, NASA’s Artemis program will return humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and future missions to worlds beyond, including Mars.
Hansen said they will undertake an equatorial orbit of the Moon and they’re hoping to see things on the far side that have never been seen by humans before. Admittedly, the crew will push the craft to its limits.
While not directly associated with Artemis II, Canadensys and its team of engineers are leaders in designing and building Canada’s first lunar vehicle. They are also recognized as leaders in avionics and sensors for space exploration.
During Hansen’s visit, people had a chance to operate the small, but mighty remote-controlled rover prototype.
One Canadensys staffer noted the hearty rover does have backup systems, prolonging the unit’s life. Hopes are the rover can last two to five months on the lunar surface, gathering engineering, environmental and geological data.
Frank Teti, GM of Canadensys, noted all of their parts are rigorously tested, ensuring they’re built to last. The company is all in and happy to be part of the space program for the long haul. Teti said they all see the benefits of their technology, which will help humankind for many years to come.
The Artemis project is on track and just recently, the Orion crew and service modules for the Artemis II mission were joined together inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
King Township’s Jim Middleton, the company’s director of strategy and operations, has been involved in space exploration since the 1970s. He is known for his work on the initial Canadarm used on NASA space shuttles, and was responsible for creating the robotic arms on the ISS. The success of the Canadarm solidified Canada’s participation in the space program and set the stage for Canadian technological prowess.
Hansen will be an amazing ambassador for Canada on this important mission.
Following his Bolton visit Friday, Hansen addresses a packed audience at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto on Oct. 28, about his upcoming Artemis II mission to the Moon.
Teti said when launch day comes, “the whole world will pause.”
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