Press Release

MDA Team Selected for 2007 Mars Scout Study

By SpaceRef Editor
March 27, 2003
Filed under , ,
MDA Team Selected for 2007 Mars Scout Study

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. announced today that the company’s subsidiary, MD Robotics has been
awarded a $150,000 study contract by the Canadian Space Agency for the
Canadian contribution to a U.S.-led Phoenix Mars Scout mission.

During this mission definition study, MD Robotics will work with Toronto-
based Optech and with members of the Canadian scientific community to carry
out engineering studies and conceptual design for potential Canadian elements
of the mission. The elements include a laser-based scientific instrument to
conduct atmospheric studies on the planet, as well as a laser sensor that will
ensure a safe and accurate spacecraft landing on Mars.

Competing with 20 proposals, Phoenix is one of 4 finalists selected by
NASA for the mission definition studies. In the second half of 2003, NASA will
select which of these four proposals will be the first Scout mission to be
fully developed and sent to Mars in 2007.

Dr. Christian Sallaberger, Director of Space Exploration at MD Robotics
stated, “The work we are executing under this contract will help position
Canada to play a critical partnership role with NASA in the first mission of
the Mars Scout program in 2007.”

Dr. Alain Berinstain, the Mars Lead at CSA, commented, “The Canadian
Space Agency is pleased to support this work and proud that Canadian
scientific and technical excellence is being recognized by our American
partners in the exploration of Mars”.

About Phoenix:

The primary scientific goals of the Phoenix mission are to “Follow the
Water” by studying the presence and history of water on the Red Planet and to
search for habitable zones by assessing liquid water and any organic or
biologically interesting materials. A suite of landed science instruments will
determine the suitability of Mars for human exploration, including in-situ
production of propellants and radiation and dust hazard evaluation, and will
also investigate soil mineralogy and geochemistry, as well as measure
atmospheric aerosols. The mission Principal Investigator is Dr. Peter Smith of
the University of Arizona, and the lead Canadian scientist is Dr. Alan
Carswell, Professor Emeritus at York University and Founder and Chairman of
Optech Incorporated.

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SpaceRef staff editor.