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Canada's space industry to continue supporting Canadian robotics on the International Space Station

Canadarm2 and Dextre – David Saint-Jacques aboard the International Space Station

Credit: Canadian Space Agency/NASA

Today, the Government of Canada issued a new contract to MDA for the continuing operations and maintenance of the Mobile Servicing System, the Canadian Space Agency's robotics suite—comprised of Canadarm2, Dextre and the Mobile Base System—on the International Space Station (ISS). The contract, worth $190 million, will enable MDA to provide essential engineering and logistics support over the next four years.

The ISS is a test bed and stepping stone to the Moon and Mars. This investment is an opportunity for the Canadian space sector to maintain its international leadership in space robotics as Canada prepares for the next chapter of space exploration, the Lunar Gateway—the cornerstone of Canada's Space Strategy.

Canadian robots poised for cosmic catch, cargo installation as resupply ship heads to Station

Credit: NASA

On , SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship will blast off from Cape Canaveral aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, headed to the International Space Station (ISS).

Three days later, NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan will use Canadarm2 to capture the unpiloted vehicle. Robotics flight controllers will then berth Dragon to the Station, where it is expected to remain for about a month.

Towards the end of March, robotics controllers working jointly from Canadian Space Agency headquarters and NASA's Johnson Space Center will use Canadian robot Dextre to unload Dragon's unpressurized trunk. The resupply mission will bring Bartolomeo, a new commercial science platform, to the Station. Dextre is scheduled to install it to the exterior of the ISS's Columbus module in .

Live coverage of Dragon's launch will begin on NASA TV on , at 11:30 p.m. ET.

Rendezvous and capture operations will also be broadcast on , at 5:30 a.m. ET (capture scheduled for 7 a.m. ET).

Canadarm2 gears up to catch Cygnus ship on a resupply run to International Space Station

Credit: NASA

On , Northrop Grumman's Cygnus cargo ship will launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, headed for the International Space Station (ISS).

Three days later, NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir will use Canadarm2, the Station's 17-metre-long robotic arm, to capture the visiting vehicle by carefully aligning the arm's "hand" with a grappling target on Cygnus's exterior. Following the cosmic catch, robotics controllers will berth the ship to the Station. It is expected to remain at the ISS for about three months.

Cygnus's arrival closely follows the notable departure of its fellow Cygnus on . That mission marked the first time that the ground team working jointly from Canadian Space Agency headquarters and NASA in Houston, was solely responsible for releasing this type of unpiloted vehicle from the orbiting laboratory.

Coverage of the launch will be broadcast on NASA TV on , beginning at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Capture operations will also be broadcast on , beginning at 2:30 a.m. ET (capture scheduled to take place around 4:05 a.m. ET).

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