- Last Updated: Friday, 12 September 2014 22:45
In 2010, Canada injected some $110M of stimulus money into the Canadian Space Agency. Part of this money went to The Lunar Exploration Light Rovers program, a series of contacts awarded to various companies and universities worth about $60M.
However the decision was made to fund lunar rovers, it was brilliant. The moon had been relatively ignored in the wake of the Mars landings of Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. Between Mars advocacy groups and Elon Musk the moon had been relegated to second status as an exploration destination.
This left Canada in a relatively quiet area of research, which is great if you have limited resources. You want to focus where others are not to gain the advantage! In true Canadian fashion, the results surpassed expectations.
One of the stimulus contracts went to Ontario Drive and Gear (ODG), who took a very commercial approach to the design of their Juno and Artemis rovers. A leader in terrestrial surface mobility, they sought to provide a rover that could host any type of payload. In this way the same rover could serve many missions.