Maxar Technologies’ business unit MDA has secured two contracts from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to build robotic interfaces for Canadarm3 on Nasa-led Gateway project.

Under the contract, MDA will work on Phase A of the Gateway External Robotic Interfaces project.

The Gateway project will serve as crucial touchpoints for the eXploration Large Arm (XLA) and the eXploration Dexterous Arm (XDA), which are the major robotic manipulator elements that form the Canadarm3 robotic system.

Canadarm3 is an AI-enabled robotic system that will service the project.

According to MDA, the Gateway External Robotic Interfaces will act as the standardised connection points between the external robotics on the Gateway and its modules, to visit spacecraft, payloads and replacement units.

MDA group president Mike Greenley said: “MDA is proud to continue our legacy of working with the Canadian Space Agency and its international partners to design, build and deploy robotic systems in support of space exploration missions.

“This project will leverage MDA’s world-leading space robotics capabilities, gained through the Canadarm programmes, and will be an important component of Canada’s contribution to the Nasa-led Gateway.”

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MDA will work with the CSA to develop the interface and system requirements, as well as undertake concept and technology development activities on Phase A of the Gateway project.

The Canadian Government announced its plans to enable future exploration missions, including human lunar landings, for the project.

Canadarm3 will provide extra-vehicular robotics (EVR) services such as external logistics, support to external science payloads, maintenance, and inspection services to the Gateway.

Maxar will build and fly the first element of the Nasa-led Gateway, known as the Power and Propulsion Element. The company will also provide a robotic arm called SAMPLR, which is to be a part of a payload delivery to the lunar surface.

The company is currently engaged in Nasa’s Artemis programme to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024, thereby discovering future missions to Mars.

In March, the Canadian Government announced support for the Nasa-led Lunar Gateway project, which aims to send a space station in lunar orbit to support future expeditions to the Earth’s natural satellite.