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Neptec Wins Canadian Space Agency Contract To Develop A New Generation Of Lunar Rovers

JUNO Rover Demonstration at NASA JSC Rock Yard - December 2, 2009.
by Staff Writers
Ottawa, Canada (SPX) Nov 24, 2010
Neptec Design Group has won a contract with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to develop the new Lunar Exploration Light Rover (LELR) - an exciting new generation of space exploration technology.

The Neptec Rover Team (NRT) has received a contract worth $11.5 million (CAD), which marks not only a significant win for Neptec, but the entire Canadian space industry.

"This is a meaningful sign that our investment to ensure Canada plays a lead role in space exploration is paying off," says Neptec president Iain Christie.

"We have been dedicated to building a team of experts that are the best at what they do. We are thrilled that our team is once again working with the Canadian Space Agency to help ensure Canada's central role in the next phase of our exploration of space."

The program, which will run until December 30, 2012, and culminates in extensive field testing in lunar analogue test sites, is sure to enhance Canada's expertise and leadership in space robotics and lunar surface mobility.

Neptec's Vice President of Space Exploration, Mike Kearns, says LELR will provide CSA with a surface mobility platform for developing the technology and expertise necessary to deploy such a vehicle on the moon.

"The innovative design of this new Canadian rover will facilitate surface transportation for payloads, cargo and crew during moon exploration," says Kearns. "In addition, it will also enable drilling and excavation, manipulator and tool integration, and vision and state-of-the-art communications systems."

Led by Neptec, the NRT team is made up of Ontario Drive and Gear Ltd., COM DEV Canada, McGill University, Northern Centre for Advanced Technology Inc. and NGC Aerospace - all leaders in their respective fields.

Together, NRT will bring several innovations to the LELR prototype, including the use of a novel eight-wheeled, skid-steer locomotion system, which will ensure the safe navigation of the moon's rugged, steep slopes.

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