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Robotic Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Contract Awarded.


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Hubble Space Telescope.
Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA has given a Canadian firm the green light to begin developing a robotic salvage mission that could repair and upgrade the aging Hubble Space Telescope. The agency awarded a $154 million contract to Canada-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates. This is the same firm that developed the Canadarm, and contributed to the Mobile Servicing System on the International Space Station. MDA's solution is called Dextre: a two-armed robot that could perform all of the same maintenance tasks that had originally been designed for human astronauts. The move towards a robotic solution is still controversial, and NASA hasn't made the final decision on what to do with Hubble yet.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. a provider of essential information solutions, today announced that it has signed a contract worth approximately $154 million U.S. to provide a potential information and robotic servicing solution to NASA to rescue the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble mission will follow on the heels of two U.S. military satellite missions that will utilize MDA's solutions to perform similar tasks.

"We are building robotic space solutions that perform critical tasks to meet the requirements of ongoing and future international space missions," said Dan Friedmann, President and CEO of MDA. "The Hubble mission and our strategic participation in other space missions will demonstrate that robots can cost-effectively complete complex tasks in space, while working together with astronauts on the ground."

MDA is involved in two other important unmanned U.S. military satellite missions. MDA recently shipped a space-based solution for a classified satellite observation program, and is in the final stages of another previously announced key space servicing mission.

The Hubble award provides MDA with a new major source of long-term revenue. This award also positions MDA as the world leader in extending human reach in hostile environments with great precision and reliability.

The Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) is acting as the contracting agency between MDA and NASA and has executed the contract. CCC, a Government of Canada Crown corporation, facilitates over $1 billion in exports each year.

More information on the Hubble servicing mission is available at


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