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The Canadian Space Agency Invests $72 M to Help Build The International Space Station

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2000

Brampton (Ontario), 27 June 2000 - John Cannis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable John Manley, Minister of Industry Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency, today announced on Mr. Manley's behalf the awarding of a

$72M contract to MD Robotics, of Brampton, Ontario. This contract will advance a key Canadian contribution to building the International Space Station.

This contract is aimed at supporting the logistics and engineering behind the Mobile Servicing System (MSS). This system, which includes the new generation CANADARM, is indispensable to the assembly of the Space Station. Almost 600 jobs will be created in leading-edge engineering and space technologies.

"Canada is accelerating the transition to the new global economy by increasing its presence in new, promising technologies and markets. Through our partnership with other nations in building the International Space Station, we are pushing out the frontiers of innovation and human exploration", said Mr. Manley.

Mr. Cannis noted that "the jobs and expertise created in fields such as robotics, a sector particularly attractive to young Canadians, help secure Canada as a world leader in the technologies of today and tomorrow".

Under the terms of the contract, MD Robotics will have the mandate to carry out the maintenance of the MSS, to make required updates on its software, to provide necessary spare parts and to maintain the engineering expertise essential to the proper functioning of this new robotic manipulator for the next three years.

The Mobile Servicing System

The Mobile Servicing System is a sophisticated robotic system critical to the assembly, maintenance and servicing of the Space Station. The Canadian elements of the MSS are comprised of four components including the Space Station Remote Manipulator System, the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, the Mobile Base System and the Artificial Vision Unit. This combination represents some of the most advanced robotics in the world.

The Canadian Space Agency

Created in 1989 and established in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency co-ordinates all elements of the Canadian Space Program and manages five large sectors: Earth and Environment, Space Science, Human Presence in Space, Satellite Communications and Generic Space Technologies. The Canadian Space Agency strives to be at the leading edge of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

MacDonald Dettwiler

MacDonald Dettwiler 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 and the Information Systems Group. The Information Products Group delivers essential land information products and services in three categories including: Legal Information, Asset Information, and Geographical Information.

The Information Systems Group provides mission critical information systems to three major applications: Monitoring Activities on the Planet, Managing Mobile Assets, and Enabling the Mobile Workforce. MD Robotics is a MacDonald Dettwiler subsidiary operating within the Information Systems Group. MacDonald Dettwiler employs 1700 people around the world through a network of offices, subsidiaries, and distributors.

The International Space Station

The International Space Station is the largest and most ambitious space program since the Apollo moon landings and the largest scientific joint effort among nations in history. Key partners in the program include Canada, the United States, Japan, Russia, and a consortium of European communities under the flag of the European Space Agency. Each of the international partners is providing key elements to the program. The first components of the Station were placed in orbit in late 1998.

The Space Station will provide unique laboratories to conduct research in fields such as astronomy, life sciences and materials, as well as locations to assemble satellites and space platforms too large and fragile to launch directly from Earth. The advanced technologies being used to construct the Station will find applications in many industries on Earth.

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For more information:
Caroline Lavallée
Media and Public Relations Officer
Canadian Space Agency
Tel.: (450) 926-4370
Cell. : (514) 943-6808
E-mail: caroline.lavallee@space.gc.ca

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