Under the deal, one of Canada's four active astronauts will be part of NASA's Artemis II mission, which will be the first crewed mission to reach the moon since the United States agency's Apollo 17 expedition; however, the 2023 trip will not include a moon landing.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and NASA have signed the Gateway Treaty, which confirms Canada's participation in the next major worldwide collaboration in space exploration, according to Navdeep Bains, Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
Canada announced a landmark agreement with the U.S. on Wednesday that will for the very first time see a Canadian astronaut orbit the moon for a manned 2023 mission as part of NASA's renewed efforts to return to the moon.
That was when the NASA Apollo missions were in full gear in the 60s and early 70s.
They'll be joining their American counterparts on a wide-ranging project to establish a future space station, known as the Lunar Gateway, above the moon's surface. "Canada will join the USA on the first crewed mission to the Moon since the Apollo missions".
Bains announced the signing with NASA of the Lunar Gateway agreement.
That will make Canada the second country to send an astronaut into deep space.
Bains did not say how much Canada will spend to participate in the Artemis 2 flight, which will come after an unmanned flyby of the moon that the USA has scheduled for next year.
Bains spoke of the Apollo 8 mission and the famous photograph of the Earth seen from lunar orbit. It will be the first crewed mission to the moon since 1972.
Exactly who will get to fly past the moon has yet to be determined.
Lab director Stephen Braham says "it sounds like far-out stuff, building networks on the moon, Mars, and even further out", but he says they are now testing Nokia's technology at Harbour Centre.
"I feel that there is a growing interest in space around the world".
Bains would not rule out a Canadian being on that trip as well, saying: "Conversations are ongoing, and I wouldn't necessarily close that door yet".