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Canadian Space Agency - Aqualunar Challenge

Opportunity NameAqualunar Challenge 
AgencyCanadian Space Agency
Value$22,500 - $400,000
Indirect CostsIneligible
Duration2 years
Application due to FSc RO at for full review03-25-2024
Application and fully signed ORS checklist due to FSc RO at for mandatory review04-02-2024
Final application and fully signed ORS checklist due at ORS for mandatory review04-04-2024
Application due at agency 04-08-2024

The Problem

With humankind returning to the Moon later this decade, purifying the water-ice that exists in lunar regolith is critical to supporting a longer-term presence on the lunar surface. Using lunar water - as drinking water, to grow food, to create oxygen and to split into hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel - is a key enabler for supporting future deep space exploration.

The Challenge

The Aqualunar Challenge is calling Canadian innovators to create innovative technologies for use on the Moon to purify lunar water. These technologies may also contribute to novel water purification technologies here on Earth.


Stage 1 – Concept Design: Teams will provide a detailed explanation of how their solution meets the Challenge objectives, mission scenario and judging criteria

Stage 2 – Proof of Concept: Teams will begin developing the key components of their prototypes based on their concept design. Semi-finalists will be expected to submit video footage to demonstrate their system or components of their system and will provide a final report that outlines how their technology meets the judging criteria listed.

Stage 3 – Prototype Scaling: Selected finalists will have 10 months to integrate the components of their prototypes. Finalists will demonstrate their systems and have their outputs tested and will be competing to be the Grand Prize Winner of the Challenge.

Canadian Grand Prize Winner for the Aqualunar Challenge will be announced in Spring of 2026


Eligible Applicants to the Challenge include the following:

  • Businesses or other for-profit organizations in Canada;
  • Not-for-profit organizations in Canada;
  • Indigenous organizations and groups located in Canada;
  • Post-secondary/academic institutions located in Canada; and
  • Individuals or groups of individuals based in Canada.

Individuals or groups of individuals are encouraged to submit an application to the Challenge, but in order to be Eligible to receive prizes, they will be required to establish a Canadian legal entity (such as a corporation or a not-for-profit organization) capable of entering into binding agreements in Canada.

Applicants may be asked to provide confirmation of legal entity if they are successful at Stage 1 of the Challenge. Confirmation of legal entity can be a copy of the status certificate, incorporation documents, patent letters, or articles of incorporation (as applicable). Note that in order for an Applicant to receive a prize, it must be an Eligible Recipient under the applicable CSA program. This requirement can be completed after submission of the Application but it must be prior to receiving any prizes. Note that the Duly Authorized Representative, if applicable, of the Canadian legal entity will be signing the grant agreement.

Note: UK Applicants must apply to the UK track of the Challenge hosted by the UKSA and Challenge Works.

How to Apply

York University researchers are reminded that all applications for external research funding, including Letters of Intent, must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Research Services before they are submitted to the granting agency.  For internal approval, the application must be accompanied by a completed ORS Checklist, which requires the Dean’s signature.  Please send the complete application, with the finalized budget and a completed ORS checklist to, five days prior to agency deadline.

ORS is accepting electronic applications – the process is outlined here.

For specific questions, please contact FSc Research Services at