MDA Completes First Commercial Sale of Canadarm3 Technology to Axiom Space

Contract for robotic interfaces another important milestone as company brings full suite of commercial space products to market

BRAMPTON, ON (MDA Inc. PR) – MDA Ltd. (TSX: MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly expanding global space industry, today announced the first commercial sale of its Canadarm3 technology to Axiom Space. The contract is for the delivery of 32 external robotic interfaces for Axiom Space’s Axiom Station which is now under construction and on schedule to be the world’s first commercial space station in orbit.

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Canada Begins Design Phase of Canadarm3 for Lunar Gateway

An artist’s concept of Canadarm3’s large arm on the Lunar Gateway. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

LONGUEUIL, Quebec, March 10, 2022 (CSA PR) — Canada is a global leader in the space robotics market thanks to strategic investments by the Government of Canada. Today the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that Brampton-based company MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) will receive $268.9 million to execute the second phase of Canadarm3. Through this design work, Canadian industry will push its capabilities and know-how in space robotics further than ever before.

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MDA Unveils New Global HQ, Space Robotics Centre of Excellence

State-of-the-art facility will be home to Canadarm3 and over 700 highly-skilled employees at the forefront of the global space economy

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA Ltd. (TSX:MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly expanding global space industry, today revealed details of its new purpose-built global headquarters and Space Robotics Centre of Excellence in Brampton, Ontario, a facility that will support the company’s ongoing growth and lay the groundwork for long-term success in the evolving commercial space robotics market.

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MDA Awarded CAD $269 Million Contract for Next Phase of Canadarm3 Program

An artist’s concept of Canadarm3’s large arm on the Lunar Gateway. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

Phase B preliminary design contract awarded to MDA as market demand for next-generation technology in the global space economy accelerates

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA Ltd. (TSX:MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly expanding global space industry, today announced that it is receiving $269M [USD $210.76 million] from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for the next phase of the Canadarm3 program.

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MDA Awarded Next Contract for Flagship Canadarm3 Program

An artist’s concept of Canadarm3’s large arm on the Lunar Gateway. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

MDA receives $35.3 million [US $28.1 million] contract for long-lead Gateway External Robotics Interfaces as part of multi-year, multi-phase $billion+ program

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PTR) — MDA Ltd. (TSX:MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly-expanding global space industry, today announced that it has been awarded a $35.3 million [US $28.1 million] contract from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for the design of the Gateway External Robotics Interfaces (GERI), a key component of Canadarm3 which will be installed on the international Lunar Gateway.

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Canadarm2 and Dextre Unlock New Level of Autonomy

Canadarm2 and Dextre. (Credit: NASA)

LONGUEIUL, Que. (CSA PR) — Having recently celebrated 20 years on the International Space Station (ISS), Canada’s iconic robotic arm is getting another boost in autonomy.

Originally designed to be controlled by astronauts in space, Canadarm2 was quickly adapted for ground control in its early years. A joint CSA-NASA team of robotics flight controllers now carefully plan and execute most manoeuvres of Canada’s space robots from Houston and Saint-Hubert, Quebec.

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Canada Moves Forward with Plans to Explore the Moon

This photograph of a nearly full Moon was taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft at a point above 70 degrees east longitude. Mare Crisium, the circular, dark-colored area near the center, is near the eastern edge of the Moon as viewed from Earth. (Credits: NASA)

Government of Canada’s Space Strategy supports the future of space exploration, space science and technology and jobs.

LONGUEUIL, Que., May 26, 2021 – As we plan for humanity’s return to the Moon, there is great potential for Canadian entrepreneurs and scientists to advance lunar science and technology. Canadians will play an important role in the highly competitive and innovative global supply chain of the expanding new space economy.

That is why, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry today announced investments of $3 million in technology initiatives for lunar exploration through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

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Canada’s Top Space Highlights of 2020

Credit: Canadian Space Agency

LONGUEUIL, Que. (CSA PR) — It’s an understatement to say that 2020 was an exceptional year. As the year draws to a close, here’s a look at some of the most compelling, inspirational and incredible moments for Canada in space. Happy New Year!

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NASA Perseveres Through Pandemic to Complete Successful 2020

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2020, NASA made significant progress on America’s Moon to Mars exploration strategy, met mission objectives for the Artemis program, achieved significant scientific advancements to benefit humanity, and returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States, all while agency teams acted quickly to assist the national COVID-19 response.

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MDA Announces Contract for Canadarm3

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA announced today that it has been awarded a contract from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to develop Canadarm3, the third generation Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based robotic system destined for “Gateway”, a lunar-orbiting international space station. The contract involves the award of Phase A of the Canadarm3 program, with options for the follow-on phases.

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Canadian Space Agency Signs Artemis Accords

Canadian Space Agency President Lisa Campbell signed the Artemis Accords on behalf of Canada. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

LONGUEIUL, Quebec (CSA PR) — The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is working with national and international partners to write the next chapter of space exploration—sending humans to more distant destinations like the Moon and Mars.

Today, the CSA proudly joined other space agencies – NASA, the Australian Space Agency, the Italian Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Luxembourg Space Agency, the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, and the UK Space Agency – in signing the Artemis Accords. This commitment is an important first step towards ensuring safe and sustainable exploration beyond Earth’s orbit.

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Canadarm, Canadarm2, and Canadarm3 – A Comparative Table

Canadarm, Canadarm2 and Canadarm3. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency/NASA)

Canadian Space Agency Fact Sheet

Canadarm
The first Canadian robotic arm to go to space
Canadarm2
Servicing the International Space Station since 2001
Canadarm3Footnote1
An artificial intelligence-based robotic system designed for the Lunar Gateway
LocationInstalled on each Space Shuttle and returned to Earth. Now retired, the Canadarm is on display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.Stays permanently in space on board the International Space Station.Will stay permanently in space on board the Lunar Gateway.
Range of motionReach limited to length of arm.Moves end-over-end to reach many parts of the International Space Station, where its anchoring “hand” plugs into a power, data, and video outlet. Because it is mounted on the Mobile Base, the arm can travel the entire length of the Space Station.Will move end-over-end to reach many parts of the Lunar Gateway, where its anchoring “hand” will plug into a power, data, and video outlet. The arm will be able to travel and bring tools to the entire length of the Lunar Gateway.
Fixed jointFixed to the shuttle by one end.No fixed end.No fixed end.
Degrees of freedomSix degrees of freedom. Similar to a human arm: Two joints in the shoulder One joint in the elbow Three joints in the wristSeven degrees of freedom. Very similar to a human arm: Three joints in the shoulderOne joint in the elbow Three joints in the wristSeven degrees of freedom. Very similar to a human arm: Three joints in the shoulder One joint in the elbow Three joints in the wrist
Joint rotationElbow rotation limited to 160 degrees.Each of Canadarm2’s joints rotate 270 degrees in each direction, a total of 540 degrees. This range of motion is greater than that of a human arm.Each joint will be able to rotate almost 360 degrees.
SensesNo sense of touch.Force-moment sensors provide a sense of “touch”. Automatic collision avoidance.Force-moment sensors provide a sense of “touch”. Automatic collision avoidance. 3D Vision Sensor Tool that maps objects around it.
Length15 m17 m8.5 m
Mass410 kg1,497 kg715 kg (estimation)
Diameter33 cm (exterior diameter of composite boom)35 cm (exterior diameter of composite boom)23 cm (exterior diameter of composite boom)
Speed of operationUnloaded: 60 cm/s Loaded: 6 cm/sUnloaded: 37 cm/s Loaded: 2 cm/s (during ground control) 15 cm/s (support during spacewalks)Unloaded: 10 cm/s Loaded: to be determined
Composition16 layers of high-modulus carbon fibre epoxy19 layers of high-strength carbon fibre thermoplasticCarbon fibre composite.
RepairsRepaired on Earth.Designed to be repaired in space. Composed of removable sections that can be individually replaced in space.Designed to self-detach sections that can be repaired inside the Lunar Gateway.
ControlControlled by astronauts on the Space Shuttle.Controlled from the ground or by astronauts on the International Space Station.Primarily controlled autonomously. Can also be controlled from the ground or by astronauts on the Lunar Gateway.
CamerasTwo cameras: One on the elbowOne on the wristFour colour cameras:One on each side of the elbow The other two on the “hands”Six colour 4K cameras: One 360-degree camera on each side of the elbow One on each boom on swivel mounts The other two on the “hands”
OperatorUnited StatesCanada and United StatesCanada

About Canadarm3

Canadian Space Agency Fact Sheet

An artist’s concept of Canadarm3’s large arm on the Lunar Gateway. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

Canadarm3 will be Canada’s contribution to the US-led Gateway, a lunar outpost that will enable sustainable human exploration of the Moon. This highly autonomous robotic system will use cutting-edge software to perform tasks around the Moon without human intervention.

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Canada Looks to MDA to Build Gateway Canadarm3 for Artemis Deep Space Missions

An artist’s concept of Canadarm3’s large arm on the Lunar Gateway. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

LONGUEUIL, Quebec (CSA PR) — Canada is taking another important step forward in its participation in the next chapter of Moon exploration. Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced Canada intends to enter into a contract with Brampton-based company MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Inc. (MDA) to build Canadarm3.

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