Press Release

MDA Advances Innovative Robotics and Rovers for Space Exploration and to Support On-Going Operations of the ISS

By SpaceRef Editor
December 15, 2017
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MDA, a business unit of Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.), (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR), today announced that it has signed four contracts with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) with a total value at approximately CA$53.75 million. The award includes:

Two contract amendments to provide funding for continued support to the robotic operations of the Mobile Servicing System (MSS). The enhancements will streamline operations and reduce operator communication load. The MSS is an essential component of the International Space Station (ISS) and its continued operations enables the Canadian Space Agency to achieve Canada’s obligations and goals as a partner on the ISS.

One contract under the Space Technology Development Program for CA$800,000 to develop technology to enable autonomous control of future space hardware such as robotic arms, rovers, scientific instruments, and satellites.

One contract for CA$450,000 for a concept study for two rover types: a pressurized rover to transport astronauts on the Moon’s surface and a smaller rover that would first be sent to the Moon to collect lunar samples and test the technologies required for the pressurized rover.

“Canadian robotics play a key role on the International Space Station and the advances in space robotics associated with this project not only enhances the MSS capabilities, but also provides a long term benefit in ensuring Canadian technology retains its best-in-class status,” said Marc Donato, MDA’s general manager responsible for this business.  “The technologies being developed under this contract offer direct spin-offs related to commercial initiatives that MDA has undertaken, such as robotically servicing satellites in space.”

The Mobile Servicing System is comprised of the Canadarm2, a highly dexterous two-armed robotic arm known as “Dextre,” and the Mobile Base System. These three robotic systems perform a variety of operations ranging from resupply, maintenance, and servicing tasks on the space station that are critical to the on-going operations of the ISS.

About MDA

MDA is an internationally recognized leader in space robotics, satellite antennas and subsystems, surveillance and intelligence systems, defense and maritime systems, and geospatial radar imagery. MDA’s extensive space expertise and heritage translates into mission-critical defence and commercial applications that include multi-platform command, control and surveillance systems, aeronautical information systems, land administration systems and terrestrial robotics. MDA is also a leading supplier of actionable mission-critical information and insights derived from multiple data sources, both owned and operated within the Maxar group and by customer and third party sources. Founded in 1969, MDA is recognized as one of Canada’s most successful technology ventures with locations in Richmond, Ottawa, Brampton, Montreal and Halifax. MDA is a business unit of Maxar Technologies (TSX: MAXR NYSE: MAXR;). For more information visit

About Maxar

Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates) is a leading global provider of advanced space technology solutions for commercial and government markets including satellites, Earth imagery, geospatial data and analytics. As a trusted partner, Maxar Technologies provides unmatched end-to-end advanced systems capabilities and integrated solutions expertise to help our customers anticipate and address their most complex mission critical challenges with confidence. With more than 6,500 employees in over 20 locations, the Maxar Technologies portfolio of commercial space brands includes: SSL, MDA, DigitalGlobe, and Radiant Solutions. Every day millions of people rely on Maxar Technologies to communicate, share information and data, and deliver insights that empower a better world. Maxar trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange as MAXR. For more information visit

SpaceRef staff editor.