How Canadarm Sparked A Space Artist’s Love of The Universe

OTTAWA, CANADA – A small Canadian community seems an unlikely spot for an artist now working with Mars One (those people plotting a one-way trip to Mars) and asteroid mining concept company Deep Space Industries. But that’s how Bryan Versteeg got his start in life and — despite his remoteness — found space inspiration from an iconic Canadian technology.

“In a small, isolated Canadian community, I wasn’t really exposed to space exploration at all. I had no one around me who was in the industry. The only thing I had that talked to me about Canadians in space  … was the Canadarm,” said Versteeg in a speech Nov. 15.

“So growing up as a kid I’d see this Canadian flag prominently featured on one of the most incredible industrial pieces of machinery put into space,” he added, saying one of his goals now is to “stick the Canadian flag where I can.” Flashing a picture of a futuristic Mars base sporting a flag, he said, “Why not? If this place is going to be built by anyone, it’s built by Canadians.”

Artist's conception of Mars One. Credit: Mars One/Brian Versteeg
Artist’s conception of Mars One. Credit: Mars One/Brian Versteeg

Today, Versteeg does artistic work for Deep Space Industries as well as Mars One, work that initially first reached the space community because he put information out on his website and people who were interested in colonization came to him to share ideas, he said.

“I imagine concepts, and I work with people who are trying to develop concepts and show concepts. Although most of the work is self-directed, I worked on 40 projects in the past two years,” he said.

In a sense, he feels that Mars is even easier to communicate with than the far North a few decades ago. When he was living in Inuvik (in Canada’s Northwest Territories) in the 1980s, it would take 2.5 weeks to get a reply from a letter, he said.

Versteeg delivered his remarks at the Canadian Space Society’s annual summit, held this year (Nov. 14 to 15) in Ottawa, Canada.

3 Replies to “How Canadarm Sparked A Space Artist’s Love of The Universe”

  1. I like the use of later generation Dragon capsules in this image as it makes for a fairly realistic conceptual rendering, but the image begs several questions. First off, how would the landers be moved and aligned so perfectly? Surely they wouldn’t be landed that close to one another – think of rocket blast lofting dust, gravel and rock. Next, how would the area be flattened? Is there a not shown crane and/or bulldozer? This concept involves at least six landings. Are the capsules to be ‘ganged’ together, say in Lunar orbit, for Mars transit? Is this concept meant to depict a ‘one way’ mission? Does it represent a small portion of a larger base? Intriguing… I’ll assume the answers to those questions are part of the intent as it inspires those and other questions. Bottom line? I like!

    1. They say they are going to build a large rover to carry the capsules to one place. How they’re planning to get the capsules onto the rover I don’t know.

      1. Lower gravity will help.. some. How’s it go? Where there’s a will there’s a way! Now, if we could only get the ultra stinking filthy rich (1/10th 0f 1%) to pay some taxes…. we might actually see this happening!

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