|Purpose:||The Research component of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Class Grant and Contribution Program to support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology provides financial support to organizations to conduct space related research and development in priority areas. It will support targeted knowledge development and innovation to sustain and enhance the Canadian capacity to use space to address national needs and priorities in the future.
The Announcement of opportunity “ Flights for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST)” aims at:
- Fostering the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and HQP by providing a training ground for both the current and next generation of scientists and engineers;
- Supporting the development of science and technology relevant to the priorities of the CSA through the use of research platforms including stratospheric balloons, aircraft, sounding rockets, nanosatellites, cubesats, ground-based facilities and field sites.
More specifically, this project is entitled “The Manicouagan impact structure as a lunar and martian analogue site: science and technology applications”:
The Manicouagan impact structure of Quebec is the 5th largest known crater on Earth. It is ~80 km diameter and well preserved, comprising an ~ 300 m thick impact melt sheet, associated impactite lithologies and a 20 x 30 km central uplift of deep crustal rocks that are analogous to lunar anorthosites. The acquisition by the University of New Brunswick of 10 km of drill core from Manicouagan, in combination with an established, coordinated field program, facilitates analogue studies to be performed of direct benefit to lunar and martian exploration programs, as well as the training of undergraduate and graduate students in planetary geosciences and potential science instrument deployment, validation and technology development. Six research and development topics are covered: (1) the central uplift as a lunar highlands anorthosite analogue site and its tectonic structure; (2) the formation of a layered, fractionated impact-melt system in relation to better understanding the lunar and martian sample inventory; (3) the nature, mineralogy, cooling history and longevity of the impact-generated hydrothermal hot rock-water system as an analogue for the development of exobiological niches on Mars; (4) high-temperature contact metamorphism of footwall rocks beneath the melt sheet, with links to the lunar granulite suite and equivalent rocks on Mars; (5) the mechanics and structure of gravitationally-driven transient crater collapse in a complex crater, and (6) integrating remote sensing and geological field data for a complex crater. This research will contribute to lunar and martian materials characterization and the refinement of exploration technologies, including spectroscopic techniques, geophysical techniques, remote sensing and image analysis. Future use of the Manicouagan analogue site will include the field testing of these analytical technologies to enhance the science return of rover and future human missions to the Moon and Mars, including NASA's upcoming MSL rover mission. |