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MDA gets $35.3 million contract from Canadian Space Agency for Canadarm 3 components

The Canadarm 2 reaches out to capture the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft and prepare it to be pulled into its port on the International Space Station on April 17, 2015. The Canadian Space Agency says it used a "creative software solution" to fix a replacement part on the Canadarm 2, postponing the need to send astronauts on a spacewalk. The agency says scientists detected an anomaly in one of the electronic systems that controls a new hand that was installed on the International Space Station's robotic arm last Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NASA

BRAMPTON, Ont. — The Canadian Space Agency has awarded a contract worth $35.3 million to MDA Ltd. to design a key component of Canadarm 3.

The funds will be used to design Gateway External Robotics Interfaces or grapple fixtures for Canadarm 3, which is Canada’s contribution to the United States-led Lunar Gateway, a small space station that will orbit the moon.

The contract is a follow-on to the first phase of interface work awarded in August 2019. A construction phase will likely be awarded in about a year.

The first elements of Gateway will launch in 2024, with Canadarm 3 scheduled to launch two years later.

The contract is the third awarded to MDA for the multi-phase Canadarm 3 program valued at more than $1 billion.

Canadarm flew on 90 space shuttle missions after debuting in 1981. Canadarm 2 has been operating on the International Space Station for more than 20 years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:MDA)

The Canadian Press