When the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center tomorrow (April 19th ) it will carry the next generation robotic arm, Canadarm2, for delivery and installation on the International Space Station. As prime contractor to the Canadian Space Agency, MD Robotics, a subsidiary of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSE: MDA) was responsible for the development of Canadarm2, with contributions from a countrywide team of Canadian sub-contractors and suppliers.
The 17-metre arm, carefully stowed in the Shuttle's cargo bay, is ready to take its first step onto the International Space Station. The arm will be deployed by Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield, with the help of the original Canadarm (also developed by MD Robotics).
Once deployed, Canadarm2 becomes the workhorse to build and maintain the Space Station in the years to come. MD Robotics already has initial contracts on a steady stream of work to provide services and enhancements as the arm enters this operational phase.
In addition, MD Robotics continues to build two other robotic components that Canada is contributing to the International Space Station. The second component scheduled to be launched is the Mobile Base System in 2002, followed by the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator in 2004. The company is also bidding on other component and support contracts.
MD Robotics, a subsidiary of MDA, is the world's leading space robotics company, committed to offering hi-tech, sophisticated robotic and engineering solutions for space and terrestrial applications.
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