Though it is a familiar sight in the night sky, the Moon still holds many mysteries. Scientists have used telescopes and orbiters to try to uncover its secrets, and Apollo astronauts collected and returned lunar rock and dust samples that have been the subject of countless analyses over decades.
But there is still a great deal to learn about Earth's only natural satellite. Its uneven, pockmarked terrain – featuring highlands, ancient impact basins, and frigid polar regions – promises to reveal much to the researchers who dare to explore it.
As part of a new chapter of lunar exploration, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is positioning Canada's academic community to take an active part in developing deeper scientific knowledge of the Moon.
Researchers from across Canada will have the unique opportunity to conduct science that sheds light on the Moon's origin, composition, and structure:
- Dr. Gordon Osinski of Western University, and researchers from the University of Alberta, Université de Sherbrooke, and MacEwan University, will develop a research program to address key scientific questions related to geology, geophysics, and prospecting. They will use impact craters to learn more about planetary interiors and study lunar volatiles, chemical components that are important to the future of deep-space exploration.
- Dr. Behraad Bahreyni of Simon Fraser University, and researchers from the University of Manitoba and McGill University, will use miniaturized seismometers and gravimeters to develop new models of the Moon's structure. They will conduct high resolution studies of the lunar subsurface while strengthening Canada's talent pool in space by training eight postgraduate researchers.
The CSA awarded $900,000 over 5 years to each of these projects, under the lunar science support element of the Agency's Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP). The projects were chosen subsequent to a LEAP Announcement of Opportunity published in .