The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, paid a visit to MDA’s headquarters in Brampton on Wednesday, August 17 to tour the facilities which includes R&D for the Canadarm3.
The timing of the Ministers visit coincides with a blockbuster of a mission, the launch of NASA’s Artemis I mission, the first major launch of the Artemis program which Canada is playing an important role.
The launch of the uncrewed Orion spacecraft atop of NASA’s massive new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), is scheduled for August 29. NASA says the Artemis I primary goals are “to assure a safe crew module entry, descent, splashdown, and recovery. In addition to sending Orion on its journey around the Moon, SLS will carry 10 small satellites that will perform their own science and technology investigations.”
Canada will have an astronaut on the Artemis II mission which is tentatively scheduled for May 2024.
In Brampton, Minister Champagne, Lisa Campbell (President, Canadian Space Agency), local MP’s Sonia Sidhu (MP Brampton South), Maninder Sidhu (MP Brampton East), Minister Kamal Khera (Brampton West) and others where given a tour by MDA Chief Technology Officer Cameron Ower, MDA VP Robotics & Space Operations Holly Johnson, and MDA CEO Mike Greenley.
The focus was Canadarm technology which over decades has provided NASA and the International Space Station partners the best robotic technology available.
This was the first opportunity the Minister had to visit MDA Brampton to see the $268.9 million investment the government announced in March. That investment was the Phase B development contract for the Canadarm3 which will play a significant role on the Lunar Gateway, orbiting the Moon.
MDA has leveraged the investments in Canadarm technology over the years for various terrestrial spinoffs including for surgeries, and is now commercializing the technology including for a commercial space station with partners Axiom Space.