CSA Announces $1.2 Million for MDA to Begin Work on Mars 2007 Mission

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2003

image Longueuil, Québec, November 20, 2003 - The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) announced today that the company has been awarded $1.2 million by the CSA for Phase A for a key scientific instrument of the NASA Phoenix Mission, set to go to Mars in 2007.

"Most benefits from science missions to Mars occur right here on Earth," said Allan Rock, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the CSA. "Such highly specialized technological challenges enhance our industry's innovative capacities. Furthermore, the funds are spent right here in Canada, allowing for new job opportunities and technology transfers to other sectors of the industry".

This project marks the beginning of a multiphase program to produce Canada's contribution to the Phoenix mission. Phase A involves the development of detailed specifications and concept design by MDA of key components of the Meteorological Station information system for the mission. This station will provide information on the climate of Mars.

"Mars is literally our next stepping stone for the exploration of the Solar system", said the CSA's President Marc Garneau. "This planet is within reach. It has interesting features such as water, gravity, an atmosphere and possibly traces of life. Unmanned science missions to Mars, such as NASA's 2007 Phoenix Mission, help us gather fundamental science and essential information for future manned missions".

MDA is the prime contractor to the Canadian Space Agency for Canada's contribution to the mission. NASA announced the selection of Phoenix from four candidate missions on August 5, 2003. MDA leads the industrial team that includes Optech Inc. from Toronto. The scientific team, lead by Dr. Allan Carswell of Optech Inc. and of York University, is made up of Canadian scientists from all over Canada.

About the CSA

Established in 1989 with its headquarters situated in Longueuil, Québec, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Space Technology; Space Qualification Services; Space Awareness and Education. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

About MDA

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates is an information company that provides essential information from anywhere in the world for decision-making in the workplace. The company operates its business through two principal groups: the Information Products Group delivers essential land information products and services that encompass legal, asset and geographical information; the Information Systems Group provides mission-critical information systems for monitoring activities on the planet, managing mobile assets and enabling the mobile workforce. The company employs over 2,000 people around the world.

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