CANADA: Jeremy Hansen, Canada’s representative on the upcoming Artemis 2 mission, is determined to propel his country further into the realm of lunar exploration.
Since his appointment on April 3, Hansen has been actively engaging with various communities touched by space, including appearances on Stephen Colbert’s show, walking the red carpet at the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, participating in an Indigenous vision quest, and meeting with policymakers in Canada and the U.S. He even had the honour of carrying the flag at the coronation of Charles III.
The Artemis 2 crew, consisting of Hansen and three NASA astronauts, officially commenced their training on May 15.
While the training timeline becomes somewhat uncertain due to the mission’s unique nature as the first moon crew in 50 years, Hansen remains confident about certain aspects.
Geology training to study moon craters, possibly with Canadian crater expert Gordon Osinski, is part of their preparation. Additionally, ongoing discussions with Canadian and American policymakers are aimed at charting the path beyond Artemis 2.
Hansen envisions a future where Canadians make significant contributions to lunar and deep space exploration.
He believes that Canada will have seats on the upcoming Artemis 4 and 6 missions, scheduled for the end of the decade, according to early discussions with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
Although Hansen has not yet been assigned a seat due to Canada’s 2.3 percent contribution to the International Space Station (ISS), he is recognized for his leadership in managing high-profile projects and intricate spacewalks.
Canada’s involvement in space missions is driven by strategic investments in areas such as robotics, space medicine, space food, and artificial intelligence.
The country’s recent allocation of funds for Canadarm3, a next-generation robotic arm, demonstrates its commitment to NASA’s Gateway space station on the moon.
Canada has a track record of collaborating with NASA, as seen in the contributions of Canadian engineers to the Avro Arrow project during the 1960s Apollo lunar missions.
Hansen emphasizes the importance of this collaboration not only for space exploration but also for its potential applications in remote environments on Earth.
The Canadian Space Agency aims to leverage its small space budget to make strategic bets that yield significant returns. As Hansen prepares for the Artemis 2 mission, he expresses pride in being the face of a vast team that has made this opportunity possible.
With Canada’s active involvement in Artemis missions, including plans for future moon landings and a vision for Canadian moonwalkers, Hansen envisions a day when a Canadian astronaut will set foot on the moon.
Furthermore, he believes that the nation’s capabilities will eventually extend to Mars, bringing substantial benefits to Canadians and showcasing Canada’s achievements on the global stage.