Language selection


Top of page

First Canadian rover to explore the Moon

For the first time in history, a Canadian rover will explore the Moon and help in the international search for water ice, a key component needed for the future of human space exploration.

Canada's role

The Canadian rover will land on the south pole of the Moon. It will have an onboard suite of scientific payloads: several Canadian and one American. Thanks to a close and ongoing collaboration between NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the Canadian lunar rover will fly as part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative.

Building on the success of past scientific instruments, academia and industry will once again have the chance to showcase Canadian know-how and innovation. The project is a technology demonstration meant to set the foundation for future Canadian lunar exploration.

For decades, as part of Canada's plan for robotic space exploration, the CSA has been actively working on refining rover designs and building Canadian expertise in rover technologies.

Gordon Osinski

Dr. Gordon "Oz" Osinski. (Credit: Dr. Gordon Osinski)

Dr. Gordon "Oz" Osinski from Western University is the principal investigator of the Canadian lunar rover science team.

Why send a rover?

Rovers act like scientists' eyes and hands – they help gather geologic and mineralogic information on samples at different locations, and send data back to Earth, as opposed to landers that can only analyze in one location.

Using their tools and instruments, they can help scientists learn more about important resources on the Moon that will be needed to establish a long-term presence there and eventually send humans farther into space.

Who will build the Canadian rover?

In , Canadensys Aerospace Corporation (Canadensys) and its partners were selected to build the Canadian lunar rover as well as to integrate the Canadian payloads with the NASA-provided payload.

The company will work with organizations from industry and academia:

What will the Canadian rover do on the Moon?

The rover will explore a region of the lunar south pole. With the help of its scientific payloads, it will gather scientific data to help find water ice and allow scientists to better understand the lunar geology and environment.

The rover will have the ability to:

The rover will navigate the surface of the Moon to test and demonstrate key systems like surface mobility, telecommunications, dust mitigation, navigation, and remote semi-autonomous control.

Rover operations will be performed in Canada. Both Canadian and American scientists will have access to the data collected by the rover's scientific payloads.

The CSA plans to send a rover to the Moon to explore a polar region. (Credit: CSA)


The objectives of the Canadian lunar rover are to:

Why is finding water ice on the Moon important?

Water is essential if we want to stay on the Moon. We need water, and the oxygen it provides, in order to live. It would also be used to produce hydrogen, a source of energy to launch rockets from its surface. Bringing water from Earth would be very expensive and complex.


Technical details

Technical details of the first Canadian rover to explore the Moon
Target destination South pole of the Moon
Size 0.5 square metres
Mass 35.0 kg (including science instruments)
Data transmission delay Approximately 10 seconds
Maximum speed 20 cm/s (0.72 km/h)
Powered by Solar energy
Some additional features
  • 4-wheel skid-steer system
  • solar panels for energy
  • stereo cameras for navigation

The Canadian lunar rover is a major initiative under the CSA's Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program. This program fosters innovation in areas of strength for Canada, like robotics, science, health and artificial intelligence.

Explore further

Date modified: