Jim Bridenstine, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), enters the hall before a press conference at the US Embassy in Moscow, Moscow, on Friday, October 12, 2018. The head of the US space organization says Canada's artificial intelligence skills leave it well positioned to collaborate with the next generation moon research. THE CANADIAN PRESS / AP / Pavel Golovkin
OTTAWA – The US Space Agency chief raised Canadian expertise in artificial intelligence in Ottawa on Tuesday, speculating that Canada will join its next bold venture to unlock the moon's secrets.
Jim Bridenstine, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said he wants Canada to continue decades of space partnership with the United States when it begins to create its new "Lunar Gateway" – next generation outpost The United States is planning to send in orbits around the moon.
"I want to be clear about how important it is: We want Canada to be a part of it, on a major road. In fact, Canada has very unique and exceptional possibilities in terms of robotics and artificial intelligence," Bridenstine told Tuesday in beginning of a two day trip to the capital.
"The reason I'm here – the whole reason I'm here for the next two days – (we) want international partners. Canada is a key to the success of this mission."
Bridenstine participated in a demonstration at Carleton University by Mission Control, a Canadian company that works with robotics that can be used to test soil samples.
That event was a warming of kind for his highly anticipated keynote address on Wednesday at a conference from the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, where speculation is highly controversial that Canada's participation in Lunar Gateway will be announced.
Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, a vocal booster from Canada's AI hub in Ontario and Quebec, is also planning to talk.
The government wants to increase Canada's AI reputation internationally and sees the exciting sector as the key to its plans to stimulate growth and create what calls for future jobs.
In September, the Canadian Space Agency appeared to form the basis of an expanded partnership with NASA when awarding bids for projects aimed at positioning Canada to contribute to future space missions involving human and robot exploration.
In his Tuesday, Bridenstine wrote out Canada's decades of long-term cooperation with the United States, which began in 1962 with the Alouette-1 Science Satellite, continuing with its iconic invention of the Canadian Army Army on NASA's spacecraft – as well as contributing 14 astronauts.
"We can do more now than we have ever been able to do on the moon's surface because of what we can do tele-robotically," says Bridenstine. "And no country on the planet is obviously better on this kind of business than Canada."
Bridenstine offered a bold vision of what could be achieved with a "reusable command module so we can go back and forth to the surface of the moon, over and over again and again with robots, robbers, landers and people."
Return to the moon would be a long-term project that would not end with an Apollo-style flotation and a quick departure, he said.
"This time when we go we'll stay."
It was not until a decade ago that missions from India and NASA found water sources on the moon, which has unlocked the potential of creating drinking water, respiratory air and even rocket fuel when it breaks in hydrogen and oxygen and is put into cryogenic form, Bridenstine said.
"Then the question asks: What do not we know about the moon yet?" He said. "The room has transformed the human state to improve the lives of all people … All these opportunities are available because of a trace blown by our countries."
Canadian secretary secretary Sylvain Laporte did not dispel any pending partnership with the United States, but he suggested it had been a smooth cooperation so far.
"As friends go, sometimes we have some ups and sometimes we have some downs," Laporte told the collection. "But all the way up and down in our relationship, space has always been there in the form of a good example of how we continue to cooperate and move the goals forward."