MDA awarded another contract to provide lunar landing sensors as the number of planned Moon missions ramps up
News Release: January 13, 2022
MDA Ltd. (TSX:MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly-expanding global space industry, today announced a contract with an undisclosed US-based space company for a key landing sensor for a 2023 mission to the Moon. This award was made as part of the company’s project involving NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.
“Momentum is building as governments and private sector organizations work hand in glove on a shared mission that will take us back towards the Moon and beyond,” said Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer of MDA. “MDA is proud to be part of that collaboration and we look forward to supporting the upcoming missions to the lunar surface where our robotics and sensor technologies will play an important enabling role.”
Today’s announcement follows a similar contract announced in August to provide lunar landing sensors to Intuitive Machines. These contracts are indicative of the growing commercial opportunity associated with a renewed interest in Moon missions from governments and commercial organizations around the globe.
According to Euroconsult, approximately 130 missions are expected by the end of the decade, compared to 52 missions conducted over the prior decade. All of the missions require sensors. MDA has developed a full suite of affordable, standardized sensor products designed for use in lunar landings, orbital debris removal, rendezvous and docking as well as Earth observation, ideally positioning the company for further expansion.
The landing sensors for the mission announced today will be delivered from MDA’s Harwell UK office. This technology is a result of a strong partnership with the UK Space Agency, which has supported the development of MDA’s two commercial lunar landing sensors – LEIA (Lidar) and FLARE (Laser Range Finder).
Speaking to the importance of international collaboration, David Kenyon, Managing Director of MDA UK said, “no one gets to the Moon on their own and strong partnerships are critical to mission success. We are grateful for the collaboration and support from the UK Space Agency on our suite of commercial landing sensors which will ensure that MDA and the UK are at the forefront of a new commercial space race.”
While FLARE will be used for flatter, less risky landing areas, the contract announced today will use the LEIA technology, which enables landings in more treacherous locations. Through its use of 3D models to navigate around obstacles, LEIA provides an opportunity to access a greater number of sites and essential resources.
Serving the world from its Canadian home and global offices, MDA (TSX:MDA) is an international space mission partner and a robotics, satellite systems and geointelligence pioneer with a 50-year story of firsts on and above the Earth. With over 2,000 employees across Canada, the US and the UK, MDA is leading the charge towards viable Moon colonies, enhanced Earth observation, communication in a hyper-connected world, and more. With a track record of making space ambitions come true, MDA enables highly skilled people to continually push boundaries, tackle big challenges, and imagine solutions that inspire and endure to change the world for the better, on the ground and in the stars.