When Chantelle Dubois thinks about her early passion for space, she remembers feeling a “deep curiosity about the universe.” Now an avionics and software systems engineer for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) supporting humanity’s first space station in lunar orbit, Dubois is helping engineer the next chapter of human exploration in deep space as part of the Gateway team.
Inspired by her curiosity and passions, Dubois always had a distinct sense that one day, she’d make her way to the aerospace industry. She pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering from the University of Manitoba in western Canada, where she was involved in aerospace extracurricular activities that she says opened doors to opportunities at CSA.
As an engineer, Dubois’ primary focus is on the human machine interfaces for Canadarm3, a CSA-provided next-generation robotic arm that will reach much of Gateway’s exterior and plug into specially designed interfaces. The partnership between NASA and CSA builds on decades of Canadian robotics contributions to human spaceflight, which started with NASA’s space shuttle, continued with the International Space Station, and is now extending to deep space with Gateway.
“As a Canadian, there is a lot of pride and excitement in knowing that Canada has assisted in the future reality of astronauts one day entering Gateway to live and work in deep space,” said Dubois. “Not being around for the Apollo mission, my generation hasn’t had the opportunity to experience this kind of space exploration initiative, and I’m excited to see how the Artemis missions will impact us culturally and as a society.”
Dubois’ assignment has her coordinating work on critical systems across countries to ensure Gateway will be ready to help astronauts meet Artemis mission objectives. NASA’s international partners at CSA, the European Space Agency, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and commercial providers like MDA – the prime contractor for Canadarm3 – and Northrop Grumman, Maxar Technologies, and SpaceX, all making vital contributions to the lunar outpost.
“The opportunity to regularly meet with NASA and collaborate with them is crucial to the mission,” said Dubois. “This is especially important for projects like Gateway, which serves as an important model of how to continue international collaboration by working together to advance human exploration and reach farther into the universe.”
Dubois enjoys playing video games, reading, scuba diving, and trying new things – like sewing, a hobby she recently started.
The Gateway program is an international collaboration inspiring deep curiosity of the universe by establishing humanity’s first space station around the Moon as an essential element of NASA’s Artemis missions. Gateway will host many capabilities for sustained exploration and research in deep space, including docking ports for a variety of visiting spacecraft, and space for crew to live, conduct science, and prepare for lunar surface missions. Gateway will be a critical platform for developing technology and capabilities to support future Mars exploration.
Learn more about Gateway: https://www.nasa.gov/gateway