In 2020, NASA will launch their next ambitious Mars rover as part of the Mars 2020 mission.
In advance of this, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Texas A&M University on a NASA-funded project to study Mars-like volcanic sand environments in Iceland. This study will help NASA prepare for scientific studies of areas on Mars that are geologically similar to the field sites in Iceland, and determine if new exploration strategies, including increased rover autonomy, would benefit future missions.
An advanced version of our Autonomous Soil Assessment software will be used during the simulated Mars rover missions in Iceland in 2019 and 2020 to determine whether it could increase the scientific return of NASA’s upcoming Mars 2020 mission. The analogue missions will include a drone working in collaboration with the rover, to replicate scenarios anticipated for the Mars 2020 rover and helicopter.
We are also excited to lead education and outreach for the project, including providing our Mission Control Academy (MCA) experiential learning program to students in Houston and Ottawa.
View our press release for more details on this announcement.
Pictured here is a view of the complex Mars-like terrain in Iceland that we will conduct our study on.
We’re pleased to demonstrate our technology to senior leadership from NASA and CSA at Carleton University on Tuesday November 13, 2018.
Prominent guests include NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, CSA President Sylvain Laporte, Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen, and U.S. Energy, Environment, Science, Technology and Health Counselor John Hill.
When: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 at 2:45 p.m.
Where: Second Floor Atrium, Richcraft Hall, Carleton University
Heads up Ottawa! Mission Control will be hosting Space Apps Ottawa, the 2018 NASA International Space Apps Hackathon. The event will be held on October 19-22!
The challenge is an intense 48-hour weekend hackathon for developers, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, astronomers and enthusiasts! Ottawa teams will compete with 200 cities internationally and build prototypes against NASA-designed challenges that involve spacecraft, celestial and science data!
The challenges are developed by NASA and the European Space Agency, and focus on making our planet and universe accessible, visual, and fun to explore! Does this all sound super exciting? Are you a problem-solver? Registration is open now!
We were very pleased to host the Expert Engagement on Space Mining for contributions to the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan. As we work to contribute to Canada’s future place in space, we are happy to see the government show interest for mining in space. The CMMP team spoke to Dr. Michele Faragalli, our Manager of Space Exploration and Advanced Technologies, about how this future can take place.
CMMP Article on Space Mining by on Scribd
This week, our team was so excited to showcase some of our very own proprietary rover control software that we have been developing over the past few years.
At an event at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, we were able to demonstrate to students and industry partners what our company has been working towards on the education and outreach side. Not only were we able to talk with Woodroffe high school students about what we are working on and passionate about, we were also able to share the podium with inspiring STEM role model, Canadian Astronaut Robert Thirsk.
After presentations, students were able to drive our rover in New Mexico all the way from Ottawa. This was a small demo of what we offer in our Mission Control Academy program each year, and tied our work in New Mexico back to our partners and community back in Ottawa!
Over the greater part of March, the Mission Control team is here in White Sands National Monument, doing a final demonstration of our ASAS technology with support from Canadian Space Agency!
ASAS is a technology we’ve been working on since 2015. We are using this opportunity at White Sands National Monument to test our software in a natural sand environment, which doesn’t exist at the facilities we have access to in Ottawa.
Over the next three weeks or so, we will test core system functionality, localization performance, ASAS functionality (terramechanics model), new wheels and characterize slip-slope… among other things!
Follow us on twitter for daily updates: #MissionControlWSNM
“I often hear people say Canada punches above its weight in space […] Even if we do, the analogy itself demonstrates how unsustainable the situation is: A middleweight can punch above their weight for a round or two – but is doomed to lose a 12-round bout to a heavyweight opponent. And this is a fight Canadians don’t want to lose.”
– Our CEO Ewan weighs in on Canada’s future in the space industry in today’s Globe and Mail. Let us know what you think on Facebook or Twitter.
Once again, Mission Control Academy was able to successfully run missions at International Space University’s Summer Space Program. This year, participants from around the world gathered in Cork, Ireland to learn about space and join the brilliant ISU network. Ewan, Michaela, and Melissa were all able to attend and deliver exciting expert lectures, one of the key parts of the MCA program.
Once again, the Canadian Space Agency allowed us the use of their Mars Yard, so participants had a realistic and exciting view of a simulated Mars terrain during their missions.
Mission Control Academy is not just for older students – STEM education is fun at all ages! Engagement of students beginning at a young age is one of the important aspects of the Mission Control Academy vision.
This year, we were able to partner up with Ashbury College, right in our hometown of Ottawa, ON. Not only were we able to deliver in-person lectures, elementary school students were able to travel to the Canadian Space Agency to operate their rover mission and tour the facilities. Thank you to the CSA for their help in execution of this mission!
The reaches of our program go far beyond the Northern Hemisphere!
University of Cape Town Space Lab, all the way in South Africa, is our second Mission Control site this summer! University level students have had the opportunity to learn directly from our team of experts on all of our MCA topics. Team Alpha and Bravo are blasting off this week, so follow our friends UCT on Twitter and keep up to date with our hashtag, #MissionControlAcademy and on Facebook!