CSA awards MDA $190 million International Space Station contract

The Canadarm2 robotic arm and Dextre, the fine-tuned robotic hand, are remotely controlled on Earth to extract Bartolomeo from the pressurized trunk of the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship. Bartolomeo is a European Space Agency science payload system that will enable numerous external science experiments to be conducted and controlled outside the space station. Credit: NASA. (Marc 25, 2020)

As expected the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded MDA a contract to cover their work in supporting the operations and maintenance of the Mobile Servicing System on the International Space Station (ISS).

The Mobile Servicing System includes the Canadarm2, Dextre and the Mobile Base System.

Canadian Space Agency Mobile Base System on the International Space Station
Canadian Space Agency Mobile Base System on the International Space Station. Credit: CSA.

The $190 million contract was awarded on March 26 and “will enable MDA to provide essential engineering and logistics support over the next four years” a CSA spokesperson told SpaceQ in an email.

In the 2015 budget the government made the commitment for Canada’s continued participation in the ISS through 2024.

This contract will take Canada through the end of its current commitment in 2024. It was thought in 2015 that 2024 might mark the end of the ISS. However, there is interest in keeping the unique test bed that is the ISS in service beyond that date, possibly to 2030 and beyond.

The U.S. Senate’s Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee proposed last fall continuing the ISS until 2030.

A decision on an extension of the lifespan of the ISS to 2030 will need to be made relatively soon to allow partner nations time to get authorization and budgets in place by their respective governments.

Animation of Canadian robots Canadarm2 and Dextre catching and unloading Dragon

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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