The Lunar Gateway, NASA’s outpost that will orbit the moon as part of its upcoming Artemis program, will be equipped with external robotics from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), NASA announced today. The culmination of an earlier partnership around Artemis, NASA’s first major program to bring astronauts to the moon in half a century, CSA plans to build a “next-generation” robotic arm, the aptly named Canadarm3. That device will be able to reach many parts of the Gateway’s exterior, giving astronauts an easy way to make repairs.
Additionally, NASA says CSA will create robotic interfaces for Gateway modules, which will help with the installation of the outpost’s first two scientific instruments. CSA aims to deliver the Candarm3 to the Gateway in 2026 via a commercial logistics supply flight. That’s likely going to be a SpaceX flight, as NASA announced in March that it would be tapped for critical cargo and supply runs.
“Gateway will enable a robust, sustainable, and eventually permanent human presence on the lunar surface where we can prove out many of the skills, operations, and technologies that will be key for future human Mars missions,” Kathy Lueders, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said in a statement.