There are special roots in St. John’s for a proposed Canadian mission to Mars. Northern Light is a proposal to place a robotic lander and a small micro-rover on the planet Mars by 2018. Director of Space Science Brendan Quine says that the intention is develop the robotic technology while still being cost effective.
Over the past 10 years the Northern Light team has been working with York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering. They have developed and tested a surface lander with robotic arm, micro-rover and suite of sophisticated scientific equipment which will explore the Martian surface and send data back to Earth.
As documented by The Discovery Channel, Thoth Technology also undertook the challenge of refurbishing Canada’s largest radio antenna at the Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO) to serve as the Northern Light ground station. The 46-metre radio telescope at ARO is one of the largest fully-steerable dishes in the world and the only one in Canada capable of receiving the signals which will be broadcast from Mars.
With these crucial elements in place, the mission now needs support from others who believe in the importance of space exploration. With the help of celebrity spokesperson Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, Northern Light unveiled today a promotional video and Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds needed to achieve the mission’s launch in 2018.
“Northern Light represents more than the first Canadian-led mission to Mars,” says Quine. “It represents a new approach to space-mission development.” While the technology has been developed and tested by experts in Canada, the mission will succeed because of support from people around the globe who share our vision and believe in our dream.
Visit the Indiegogo campaign https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/northern-light-mission-to-mars