Press Release

MDA Begins Flight Phase of Asteroid Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
July 17, 2014
Filed under , , ,

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA” or the “Company”) (TSX:MDA), a global communications and information company, today announced that it has received a follow-on contract for CA$6.6 million from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. The total contract value to-date is $25 million.

MDA will build a laser-based instrument that will be used for the six-month task of mapping the surface of the 500 metre diameter asteroid called Bennu, creating a high resolution 3D model of its surface.

“MDA’s participation in this landmark mission builds on the expertise and technology developed for NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander and U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) XSS-11 missions,” said Craig Thornton, general manager for Robotics and Automation at MDA. “As future commercial and government space ventures emerge, we are well positioned to provide flight-proven vision systems that meet stringent mission requirements.”

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is scheduled to launch in September 2016 to study an asteroid and return a sample of it to Earth in 2023. Data collected from the mission will help scientists to better comprehend how our solar system was formed, and how it has changed from its earliest beginnings. It will also provide a better understanding of the threat that asteroids pose to our planet.

The CSA is supporting a Canadian science team and the development of the science instrument for the mission.

About MDA

MDA is a global communications and information company providing operational solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide.

MDA’s business is focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, primarily in the Communications sector and the Surveillance and Intelligence sector. In addition, the Company conducts a significant amount of advanced technology development.

MDA’s established global customer base is served by more than 4,800 employees operating from 11 locations in the United States, Canada, and internationally.

The Company’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “MDA.”

Related Websites

Mission Animation:

OSIRIS-REx Investigates Asteroid Bennu

Asteroids and the OSIRIS-REx Mission

SpaceRef staff editor.