Canadian Space Agency

Canadian Space Agency

September 22, 2010 07:00 ET

Canadian Space Agency Awards Contract for Mars Exploration Technologies

LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 22, 2010) - The Canadian Space Agency has awarded a contract valued at $6 million (CAD) to MDA to develop a terrestrial prototype of a science rover for Mars exploration. The investment is part of the Government of Canada's 2009 Economic Action Plan and aims to accelerate the development of technologies for space exploration.

MDA will design, build and test a semi-autonomous rover prototype that can be commanded from a remote location. The rover will be equipped with vision systems and detectors for navigation and will provide the interfaces for hosting a small robotic arm and upcoming sciences and payloads. It will be ready for field testing in 2012.

Prototypes like the Mars exploration and science rover are used to demonstrate end-to-end operations of rovers and their payloads in realistic terrestrial field tests, reproducing key conditions of space missions. The project will position Canada as a potential partner in international space exploration missions, and maintain Canadian technical expertise in space robotics. The technologies developed for the rover could also have several Earth-based applications in areas like the mining, transportation and security industries.

About the CSA

Established in 1989, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) coordinates all civil, space-related policies and programs on behalf of the Government of Canada. CSA directs its resources and activities through four key thrusts: Earth Observation, Space Science and Exploration, Satellite Communications, and Space Awareness and Learning. By leveraging international cooperation, the CSA generates world-class scientific research and industrial development for the benefit of humanity.

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