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Canadarm Helps Space Station Crew Prepare for Arrival of Russian Service Module

Press Release From: MDA
Posted: Monday, May 29, 2000

BRAMPTON, Ont. -- MacDonald Dettwiler subsidiary, MD Robotics announced today that its Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS), also known as the 'Canadarm', played a key role in accomplishing EVA objectives on NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis repair and supply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Using the Canadarm, Mission Specialist Mary Ellen Weber maneuvered astronauts James Voss and Jeffrey Williams around the ISS for 6 hours successfully completing the assembly of a 45-ft. Russian crane and replacing a faulty communications antenna.

This marks the 55th successful mission for Canadarm. Since its maiden voyage in 1981 it has performed many critical on-orbit tasks including helping the Shuttle dock with the Mir space station and connecting the first two modules of the International Space Station (ISS).

Recently, Canadarm helped NASA restore the Hubble Space Telescope, its premier optical space observatory, to full capability last December after the famous telescope had essentially shut down. Astronauts used the SRMS to capture the Hubble satellite, place it in the Shuttle's cargo bay for repairs and later re-deploy it. The SRMS was also used during the mission as a mobile work platform to support four spacewalks by astronauts.

The next-generation robotic arm will be featured on the Mobile Servicing System (MSS), which MD Robotics developed under contract to the Canadian Space Agency as part of Canada?s contribution to the ISS. This system will assist in construction and maintenance of the ISS, moving supplies, releasing and recovering satellites, servicing instruments attached to the station, and supporting astronauts working in space. The MSS is scheduled to be launched on three Shuttle flights beginning in early 2001.

About MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA)
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. MacDonald Dettwiler employs 1700 people around the world through a network of offices, subsidiaries, and distributors.

About The International Space Station (ISS)
The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest and most ambitious space program since the Apollo moon landings and the largest scientific joint effort among nations in history. The International Space Station partners a global team led by NASA. Countries participating in the program include the United States, Canada, Japan, Russia, Brazil 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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