Space Policy Online reports that NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have concluded an agreement that would, inter alia, involve a Canadian astronaut on an Artemis II mission, envisioning taking four astronauts around the moon in 2023 Was done. Artemis II will precede Artemis III’s mission to land on the moon next year, even though most believe the date is unrealistic.
Other parts of the agreement deal with the development and installation of a Canadian-built robotic arm at the planned lunar orbital transfer station at Lunar Gateway. A second Canadian astronaut will go on a mission to the Lunar Gateway.
The yet-to-be-identified Canadian astronaut will be the first non-American to venture beyond low Earth orbit. The inclusion indicates that Artemis is not your grandfather’s lunar exploration program. There is a long-standing precedent in the international aspects of the 21st century moon. By 1984, when President Ronald Reagan announced the project, which eventually became the International Space Station, countries in Canada, Japan and Western Europe were included as partners. Later, President Bill Clinton brought in Russia as a partner for the space station.
The Apollo race was held on the moon to prove America’s technical superiority to the Soviet Union. The program succeeded brilliantly in this goal. The Soviet Union never recovered from humiliation.
The Artemis program has a similar but subtitled political purpose. By asking astronauts to return to the moon and have international participation in the undertaking, the United States wants to establish itself as a world leader in space exploration. The US also hopes that inviting other countries to participate in Artemis will be a big part of the international good, including their citizens walking on the moon with the Americans.
Artemis will demonstrate to China, which also has lunar ambitions, that the country that landed men on the moon 50 years ago still has the same thing to do. Now then, the United States is the world’s pioneer for space exploration. China, due to its hostility to the United States and the rest of the Western world, is by no means a candidate for a space exploration partnership.
The third objective of the Artemis International Partnership is to prevent the incoming Biden administration from canceling the project. The Trump administration expects Biden’s cancellation of the project, advancing international partners for Artemis. Team Biden has made a big point of Trump’s withdrawal from international agreements such as the Paris Climate Agreement and Iran Nuclear Agreement. It would not be a good look, given that rhetoric, if the future Biden is to break the agreements, including the Artemis Accords, who want to define what is good behavior in the space.
Jim bridensteinJames (Jim) Frederick Bridensteinnasa next selected Artemis Moonwalkers, while SpaceX landed a starship for the first time to break the sound barrier Chuck Yeager died in Hill’s morning report of 97 – presented on Facebook – by Congress Faced a crisis by the end of the year; Biden selects his Secretary of Defense andThe outgoing NASA administrator has proved his competence by negotiating various Artemis agreements. His latest might, in addition to the Canadian agreement, is to persuade Brazil to join the growing list of countries that have become part of the Artemis Agreement.
Ironically, the Senate Commerce Committee Democrats gave the slogan to Bridenstein during their confirmation hearing, claiming that instead of a politician (he was a congressman at the time), NASA was “aerospace professional” as a leader was needed. Bridenstein gained confirmation anyway. As he used his political skills not only for the victory of the bipartisan Congress for Artemis, but also for international support.
Once Biden is sworn in as President of the United States, Bridenstein has resolved to step down as NASA’s administrator. The decision causes a tragedy as the former congressman and naval aviator has done as well in charge of the space agency, even winning over its former critics. Whichever team Biden chooses to replace Bridenstein, it must be someone with the skill set and passion to bring Artemis home to Kathy Leders, the current head of NASA’s manned space flight effort, which includes Artemis and the commercial crew program Yes, comes to mind.
As for Bridenstein, he may have been offered the position of special envoy for space exploration, so that he can continue his diplomatic work building the Artemis Alliance to return to the moon.
Many astronauts from other countries will take that first Canadian into deep space. They will be affected by Europe, Asia and even the Middle East. 50 years ago America went to the moon alone away from the eyes of the world. This time she will bring the world back to the lunar surface and thus gain much international influence and credibility.
Mark Whittington, who often writes about space and politics, has published a political study of space exploration titled Why It So Hard to Go Back to the Moon? And also “The Moon, Mars and Beyond. He blogs at Cremudgens Corner.” He has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Hill, USA Today, LA Times and Washington Post, among other places.