Mission Control Intelligence

Mission Control is partnered with Axiom Research Labs Private Limited (ARL) of India to demonstrate AI-powered autonomy on a micro-rover ahead of commercial missions to the Moon, in a project called Mission Control Intelligence (MCI): Enhancing the Autonomy of Commercial Space Robotics.

MCI is a suite of cutting-edge technologies that will enable mission operators to make key decisions in science and navigation operations faster and with more confidence, opening up new possibilities in exploration. It is designed to meet the growing demand for AI-powered robotic missions to improve safety and productivity, and enable the future of low-cost autonomous space missions.

Mission Control will integrate its MCI suite onto flight and ground systems developed by ARL, including their commercially available micro-rover, Ek Chotti si Asha (ECA). To test and validate how the MCI suite can benefit science operations with the ECA rover, Mission Control and ARL will host a series of tests in a high-fidelity Lunar analogue environment at Mission Control’s facility in downtown Ottawa. Software applications and novel autonomy capabilities developed through MCI will be independent of the rover platform, enabling Mission Control to integrate these technologies for future missions including a potential Canadian micro-rover mission.

To enable geographically distributed teams to operate the rover in tests and spaceflight missions, Mission Control will also leverage another core technology suite: Mission Control Software, a cloud-based suite of mission operations software services for space exploration, autonomous systems and robotic applications.

Latest News


Reach for the Moon – Video Contest

Are you a Grade 8-12 student in Canada or India? We have an exciting opportunity for you! If you have ever wanted to learn to drive a rover on the Moon, this might be your chance.

We’re thrilled to announce our #ReachForTheMoon video contest with our partner in India, Axiom Research Labs (ARL) a.k.a. Team Indus, and with support from SEDS-Canada and SEDS-India.

To enter the contest, all you have to do is submit a 1-minute video and tell us about an experiment that you would run on the Moon if you had the chance. Be creative, be passionate, and tell us what makes you excited about space exploration!

Your submissions will be reviewed by our panel of expert judges in space exploration, science and robotics:

  • Natalie Panek: Senior Engineer, Systems Design at MDA
  • Dr. Andrew Rader: Mission Manager at SpaceX
  • Dr. Tanya Harrison: Director of Science Strategy at Planet Labs

The top 3 students from each country will get to remotely drive a real rover at our Moonscape in Ottawa, Canada, using our Mission Control Software platform for real-time rover teleoperations. As part of this experience, you will also get a chance to learn about planetary science and robotics in a virtual hangout led by our Chief Science Officer Dr. Melissa Battler.

For details on rules and how to apply, refer to our contest document.

The deadline to submit is May 30, 11:59 pm EDT. We’re excited to see where your imagination takes you!

Our Story

This summer (2021), we will run a series of lunar exploration mission tests at our facility in Ottawa, as part of a project called Mission Control Intelligence in partnership with ARL. Together with ARL, we will test next-generation technologies in robotics and artificial intelligence designed to help support scientists and engineers that will one day be a part of operating a rover on the Moon. Visit our Mission Control Intelligence project page to learn more!

To share our excitement for space exploration and help the next generation of students get a unique experience in the exciting world of space technology and planetary science, we have designed the Reach for the Moon contest for grade 8-12 school students in Canada and India.

This contest builds on the success of our immersive & educational program called Mission Control Academy, where students from all backgrounds can get the opportunity of conducting a mock planetary rover mission with a real rover using our web-based operations interface that we offer as a part of our Mission Control Software.

As we send more and more missions to the Moon and beyond, we strongly believe in leveraging our technologies to help inspire the next generation of students to get excited about space exploration and follow their dreams.

Our Mission Control Software can not only help make future planetary exploration missions more productive for operations teams, but it can also help them bring students and the general public along for the ride.

Mission Control Academy - students operating a rover
Students operating our rover using our Mission Control Software, as part of a interactive and immersive educational Mission Control Academy session.


Announcement: Mission Control Intelligence

Mission Control is excited to announce Mission Control Intelligence (MCI): a joint project with Axiom Research Labs to demonstrate AI-powered autonomy on a micro-rover ahead of commercial missions to the Moon. Read more about it here and our press release!