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Canadian Space Industry

MDA secures first commercial sale of Canadarm3 technology with Axiom Space

Axiom Station will be the world's first commercial space station in orbit. And it'll be Canadarm3 friendly.

Candarm3 graphic provided by the Canadian Space Agency. The image is the Lunar Gateway. Logos included are MDA, Axiom Space, Candarm3.

MDA, a private Canadian space technology provider of geointelligence, space robotics, and satellite systems has complete its first commercial sale of Canadarm3 technology to the Axiom Station, a world-first commercial space station in orbit provided by Axiom Space. 

The Canadarm3 technology and interfaces will provide infrastructure and foundation for permanent robotic systems outside Axiom Station. Per MDA, the interfaces (32) will include technology compatible with Canadarm2 aboard the International Space Station (ISS)—this will enable Canadarm2 to build Canadarm3. 

While this is the first commercial sale of Canadarm3 technology, it isn't the first-ever contract for the Candarm3.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) awarded MDA a contract on December 9, 2020 to build Phase A of the Canadarm3 for the Lunar Gateway program, an international collaboration lead by NASA to build an orbital base around the Moon. On March 10, 2022, the CSA awarded MDA a $269M contract to build Phase B. The target date to deliver the Canadarm3 to Gateway is 2027.  

Axiom Space most recently completed the historic, world-first, privately funded and operated crewed mission (Axiom Mission 1, or Ax-1) to the ISS. The spacecraft was provided by SpaceX's Crew Dragon.

Canada's Mark Pathy (52), the CEO of private investment company Mavrik participated in the mission after spending $50 USD for the trip. He spent 17 days in space after becoming the 584th person in the world, third Canadian private citizen, and 12th Canadian overall to travel to space.   

“As the global space economy continues to accelerate, there is increasing demand for a wide variety of space robotics designed to fulfill all kinds of objectives – and MDA is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this opportunity," said Mike Greeley, CEO of MDA.

MDA built Canadarm and Canadarm2 through publicly funded initiatives through the Canadian government. Canadarm3 technology is expanding to privately-funded programs and projects.

Canada's presence in space is evolving.

Read MDA's press release here.

Read about the Canadarm3 here.

Photo: CSA