LONGUEUIL, Quebec.Canadian Space Agency (CSA) officials in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, have selected MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), a global provider of communications and information systems in Richmond, British Columbia, to identify the requirements to build a deep-space exploration robotics system potentially capable of operating and maintaining a future space station near the moon.
CSA officials anticipate this early-stage analysis will contribute to a better understanding of the technologies and equipment needed to support future international missions beyond the International Space Station (ISS).
The establishment of a future space station between the Earth and the moon is a key element of deep-space exploration by Canada and its partners in the international space community. The establishment of a new outpost between Earth and the moon will enable astronauts to travel farther into space, where they can demonstrate new technologies that can be used at great distances from the Earth.
Canadians working in the space sector are expected to benefit from new business opportunities stemming from this $2.75-million contract to MDA. This initiative is part of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year effort to create jobs for the middle class.
“Our government believes that an investment in space is an investment in science and innovation. These investments create new opportunities for the space sector and well-paying, middle-class jobs for Canadians,” Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Navdeep Bains says. “That's why we are identifying options for Canada's next steps in deep-space exploration. These options will guide the development of new technologies, particularly in areas such as space robotics systems, where Canada has world-class expertise. The technologies that are designed for space today can one day be applied to the everyday lives of Canadians. That's how innovation leads to a better Canada.”
The long-term goal for the international space community is human exploration of Mars.
In 2016, the Government of Canada committed up to $379 million to extend until 2024 Canada's participation in the International Space Station program.
This commitment will allow Canadians to conduct research projects that position this country's space sector to seize new opportunities that come with the next steps in deep-space exploration.
Budget 2017 provides $80.9 million to the Canadian Space Agency for new missions that will develop emerging technologies, generate new business opportunities for the Canadian space sector, support scientific research, and utilize Canadian innovations in space.
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