As part of its plans to join the return to the Moon, the Canadian Space Agency has awarded a contract worth $22.8 million to Brampton-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) to establish the technical requirements to build Canadarm3.
Canadarm3 is Canada’s contribution to the United States-led Lunar Gateway, which is part of the Artemis program, the next major international collaboration in human space exploration.
Canadarm3 will be composed of a next-generation smart robotic arm, a small dexterous arm and a set of specialized tools. Using advanced machine vision, cutting-edge software and advances in artificial intelligence, this highly autonomous system will be able to perform tasks without human intervention.
In contrast to its predecessor on the International Space Station, ground control operations for Canadarm3 will take place exclusively in Canada.
Hundreds of Canadian companies are expected to be involved in the development of Canadarm3, working with MDA and research organizations to drive innovation and Canadian excellence in emerging technologies.
The development of Canadarm3 will involve the application of the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, which will ensure the participation of the broader Canadian supply chain and help motivate investments in key industrial capabilities within Canada’s space sector.