NASA, who completed a two-day trip to Ottawa on Wednesday, left the federal capital empty-handed. However, the US Space Agency has made a strong opinion in favor of Canada's participation in a future moon mission. At a time when pressure is increasing, the Trudeau government is slow to make a commitment.
The presence in Ottawa in NASA's number one is no coincidence. If Jim Bridenstine's tone and words are polite, Washington's impatience is real. Appointed by Donald Trump as Head of the Office, Mr. Bridenstine is also his leading space science advisor. For Donald Trump, the Lunar Gateway project is a priority. Last year, the United States President ordered NASA to launch a human-manned mission to the moon.
"I'm here to ask for Canadian support," Jim Bridenstine repeated several times during his recent trip to Ottawa. "Canada has been a major ally in the United States in space exploration. And we want to ensure that this partnership is strong," he added.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine hopes Canada will keep NASA in a future moon mission
The NASA leader is apparently on a reconnaissance mission, and the context of this visit is crucial for the future US-Canada relationship in space exploration missions.
Last summer, Canada returned to NASA. Due to lack of funding, the Canadian Space Agency has abandoned its participation in a critical project, the WFIRST telescope. The Canadian Space Agency aims to provide an instrument that would have played an important role in this mission.
Since then, Ministers of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, have still not offered a firm commitment to NASA for the Lunar Gateway project.
"There are many options. At this stage, everything remains on the table," said the minister after meeting with the head of the US space organization Jim Bridenstine.
Vadim is a passionate author of various topics but especially about matters related to health, technology and science. Therefore, Vadim covers Health and Sci & Tech news for Great Lakes Ledger.