Canada's 1st Space Payload Accelerator

The Los Angeles office of the Trade Commissioner Service of Canada and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) have developed the Canadian Space Payload Accelerator, a unique innovation opportunity for organizations looking to  Accelerate their Space-Based Capabilities! 

: Selected Teams will need to show how their payload designs could engage in activities supporting science goals for returning humans to the moon, therefore advancing one or more of the Artemis III Science requirements as defined by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 

As a reminder, the Artemis III mission will be the first human mission to the surface of the Moon in the 21st Century, and will build on the legacy of Apollo to usher in the modern era of human exploration and development in deep space. The lunar surface is an ideal location to answer fundamental planetary science questions. In the 50 years since humans last visited the Moon, new advances arising from robotic lunar missions, reanalysis of older data, modeling, and sample analysis have produced dramatic results and new questions about planetary volcanism, volatiles, impact processes, tectonics, and the lunar environment. Driven by new questions, we set out a robust science plan for the Artemis III crew return to the lunar surface. NASA's identified science goals are: 
  • Understanding planetary processes
  • Understanding the character and origin of lunar polar volatiles
  • Interpreting the impact history of the Earth-Moon system
  • Revealing the record of the ancient sun and our astronomical environment
  • Observing the universe and the local space environment from a unique location
  • Conducting experimental science in the lunar environment
  • Investigating and mitigating exploration risks

NASA Artemis III Science definition and detailed report can be found here: 

The Canadian Space Payload Accelerator will be split into two separate phases:

  • Stage 1 - a Mission Concept Academy to learn effective industry practices and processes to mature a space concept to a Preliminary Design Review (PDR) Level. This Academy is a 12-week, rigorous online space science concept opportunity for Canadian companies, college and university academics and students, and early career professionals who are ready to partner and collaborate to accelerate their ideas and careers in the space exploration industry. Throughout the sessions, Teams will work to design a team concept to meet all requirements for a lunar surface mission. The Teams will be trained and write a selectable short proposal that will meet the criteria of the course solicitation and receive feedback on their proposals.
  • Stage 2Development and Demo for the Teams that were able to show in Stage 1 the ability to develop a prototype in the timeline provided. Further details will be provided directly to the relevant Team(s) - the objective is to equip Team(s) to continue maturing their technology and business models.

The Mission Concept Academy (stage 1) participants will: 
  • Attend weekly 1.5 hour live sessions on Wednesdays at 4:30pm PT and work ~4-6 hours/ week with an interdisciplinary team;
  • Gain productive teaming experience to optimize their project;
  • Gain insight into processes and procedures necessary to complete a technical Preliminary Design Review (PDR) capable of being competitive;
  • Gain knowledge of the technical capabilities and requirements for a lunar surface mission through interaction with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and mentors;
  • Deliver a PDR presentation and meet with interested Canadian / US companies.
Payload Demonstration (stage 2) participants will: 
  • Develop a functioning engineering model or prototype of their payload concept;
  • Demonstrate payload performance in a simulated lunar environment;
  • Engage with industry experts in government, industry, and academia;
  • Gain valuable insight into future lunar mission opportunities.
Mission Concept Academy starts on DECEMBER 1, 2021 - DEADLINE TO APPLY: NOVEMBER 17, 2021 

Eligibility requirements:

  • Canadian companies with space mission concepts or prototypes
  • Canadian STEM faculty or student(s) at a Canadian College or University
  • Canadian hybrid Teams i.e. collaboration specifically initiated for this Design Academy between a Canadian company and students at a Canadian University or College
        No limit on number of participants per Team, Canadian citizenship not required for Company, College and/or University representatives
Note that the selection committee will base its selection on the information provided within this application form. Therefore, please provide complete responses to all questions. The selection committee reserves the right to conduct short interviews with some candidates should clarifications be needed to ensure a right fit for the program. Also note that you will have the option to save your responses and return to complete your application at any time before the deadline.

For more details, please contact:

Mourad Ratbi, Aerospace Trade Commissioner in Los Angeles |  


Global Affairs Canada (GAC) is committed to protecting the privacy rights of individuals and safeguarding the personal information under its control.

"Personal information” is defined as any information, in any form, about an identifiable individual; refer to section 3 of the Privacy Act for further details regarding personal information. Personal information collected by GAC is protected from disclosure to unauthorized persons and/or agencies subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act. Individuals have the right to the protection of and access to their personal information and to request corrections where the individual believes there is an error or omission. For corrections the Department’s Access to Information and Privacy Protection Division can be contacted.

Information is being collected under the authority of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act (now GAC), Section 10(2)(e). A completed application form is required by the Department for the purpose of assessing company eligibility for participation in the Canadian Space Payload Accelerator. Completion of all mandatory fields is required.

Personal information may be shared with Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) staff members, other Government of Canada contacts such as Export Development Canada (EDC), Business Development Canada (BDC) and NRC-IRAP, industry experts, local in-market contacts and in-market accelerators. 

Your personal information will be retained until we are advised of a change in company contact or you ask us to remove your name from our database. Personal information will be protected under the provisions of the Privacy Act and will be described in a DFATD Personal Information Bank (PIB) currently under development. When completed, the PIB can be viewed at Info Source. Individuals have the right to file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding the Department’s handling of their personal information.

By providing your personal information, you acknowledge that you have read and understood this statement and consent to the Department’s collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of your personal information. If personal information of another management team member has been included in this application form, you confirm it has been added with their knowledge and consent.*
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