Design Engineering

MDA Space lands $1B contract for next phases of Canadarm3 project

By DE Staff   

General Aerospace Canadarm3 MDA Space

MDA is building the Canadarm3 which will be used aboard Gateway, a collaboration led by NASA to establish a space station in lunar orbit.

An artist’s concept of Canadarm3’s large arm on the Lunar Gateway. (Photo: CSA, NASA)

MDA Space Ltd. has won a $1-billion contract with the Canadian Space Agency for the next phases of the Canadarm3 robotics system. Canadarm3 which will be used aboard Gateway, a collaboration led by NASA to establish a space station in lunar orbit.

The contract includes funding for Phase C (final design) and Phase D (construction, system assembly, integration and test) of the full robotics system, composed of a large arm, a smaller dexterous arm, specialized tools for performing maintenance and science tasks, as well as a ground segment for command and control. MDA Space will support commissioning of the Canadarm3 robotics system once in orbit from the company’s new mission control facility at its global headquarters and Space Robotics Centre of Excellence in Brampton, Ont. The contract will also include planning and personnel training in preparation for on-orbit mission operations.

Gateway is a key part of NASA’s Artemis program to return astronauts to the moon.

“We are entering an exciting period where Canadarm3 will take shape and come to life on our production floor. This critical investment in Canadarm3 reinforces and expands our national and industry leadership as a new era of space opens up,” said Mike Greenley, CEO of MDA Space. “This major milestone also reflects our strategy in action as we build our significant backlog and bring to market a new generation of commercial space products and services.”


Leveraging technology derived from Canadarm3, MDA Space has introduced a new suite of commercial space robotics, MDA SKYMAKER, which will provide customers globally with access to the world’s most flight-proven space robotics solutions and services. This contract is a key milestone in continuing to progress the development of our commercial technologies that will serve emerging markets such as commercial space stations, lunar surface rovers and landers, satellite servicing in all orbits, and in-space assembly and manufacturing. With commercialization being an important goal of the Canadarm3 program, MDA Space is already gaining traction in the rapidly-growing commercial space market.

Phases C and D of the contract will involve over 200 Canadian companies in the MDA Space supply chain, supporting job creation, skills development and economic and export opportunities for the Canadian space industry.

The contract is expected to run until March 2030, and will be added to MDA’s backlog in the second quarter of fiscal 2024.


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