Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. Credit: Blue Origin
TORONTO, ONTARIO, July 7, 2020 — Space is becoming readily accessible thanks to a burgeoning commercial space industry. This is opening up new opportunities for Canadians to utilize space as a research platform. July marks an exciting milestone with the country’s first spaceflight competition for Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital reusable rocket.
Luna Design and Innovation has partnered with Shad Canada to create a spaceflight challenge for ShadOnline, a virtual STEM and entrepreneurship program. Luna works with organizations to run experiments and commercial projects in space. Its work is driven by significant decreases in launch costs, enabling new research and business opportunities.
“This competition is a Canadian first,” said Andrea Yip, CEO of Luna Design and Innovation. “The program is a great example of how Canadians can access space using leading edge space technology.”
Through the competition, students will engage in space research in actual space environments. “Luna Design and Innovation has been a great partner in helping us make spaceflight a reality for this year’s Shad program,” said Tim Jackson, CEO of Shad Canada. Over 600 high school students will use a design thinking mindset to imagine and pitch microgravity experiments that can advance humankind.
The competition has also garnered support from the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport and Canada’s first Astronaut in space: “The ShadOnline design challenge is an exciting collaboration to engage the next generation of young Canadian STEAM leaders in space. As a former astronaut and Payload Specialist, it is promising to see a program that enables young Canadians to use suborbital space flight as a research platform. This is an innovative way to advance space sciences and continue to strengthen Canada’s global leadership in the aerospace industry.”