MDA Ltd., a Brampton, Ont., based provider of technology and services to the global space industry, is receiving $269M from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for the next phase of the Canadarm3 program.
The contract will see MDA complete the preliminary design of the Canadarm3 robotics system that will be used aboard the NASA-led Gateway – a major, multi-year international collaboration to establish a sustainable space station in lunar orbit to support human and robotic missions to the surface of the Moon.
Operating approximately 400,000 kilometres from Earth, Canadarm3 will be an autonomous system capable of maintaining itself and making decisions with minimal human intervention.
“This is another important milestone for MDA that demonstrates our ability to execute in the rapidly accelerating global space economy and further reinforces our role as a worldwide leader in robotics and space operations,” said Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer of MDA. “MDA now intends to leverage its world-class engineering capabilities, mission expertise, and cutting-edge Canadarm3 technology with an eye towards commercializing space robotics products in the years ahead.”
The contract will be added to MDA’s backlog in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, with the design work expected to be completed over the next 17 months.
MDA has also 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 in the evolving commercial space robotics market.
The 200,000 square-foot building will feature labs, manufacturing, R&D, and assembly, integration and test facilities. The Centre of Excellence will also house a unique Space Robotics Mission Control Centre, enabling MDA to provide critical on-orbit operations capabilities to commercial and government customers worldwide. It will be home for Canadarm3.
“This new facility will be home to our growing team and will further unlock the potential of our world-class engineering and space mission expertise, while allowing us to bring to market a full suite of innovative commercial space robotics products that leverage Canadarm3 technology,” said Greenley.
The creation of the MDA Centre of Excellence for Space Robotics – which is currently under construction with the lab slated to be operational by the end of 2022 – will be supported by a $25M grant from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. The project is also being actively supported by the City of Brampton Economic Development Office and Kaneff Group, a Brampton-based development, construction and property management company.