MDA awarded contract for Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Martian Moons Exploration Mission
News Release: September 14, 2021
MDA Ltd. (TSX:MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly-expanding global space industry, today announced that it has been awarded the full contract from MELCO (Mitsubishi Electric Corporation) in Japan to provide a Laser Rangefinder (LRF) altimeter for the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) MMX (Martian Moons eXploration) mission.
MDA will be providing two redundant flight units (laser range finder - LRF) altimeters and one engineering development unit (EDU) LRF altimeter.
Scheduled to launch in Japanese Fiscal Year 2024, MMX is a mission to travel to Mars and explore the red planet’s two moons: Phobos and Deimos. Approximately one year after leaving Earth, the spacecraft will arrive in Martian space and enter into orbit around Mars and then Phobos.
MDA’s LRF will be used as an altimeter and provide range measurements to the planetary probe for its safe approach and landing on Phobos. After observation and sample collection, the spacecraft will return to Earth carrying the samples.
As a result of this mission JAXA hopes to clarify the origin of the Martian moons and the process of planet formation in the Solar System; clarify the evolution process of the Martian-sphere (Mars, Phobos, Deimos); establish the technology required for the return trip between the Earth and Mars; establish advanced sampling techniques on celestial bodies; and establish optimal communication technologies using a newly developed ground station.
“MDA is a global leader in laser range finder and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and we are very proud to be providing our advanced sensor technology to the MELCO team for JAXA’s Martian Moons Exploration Mission. The Phobos landing will be a first for humankind, and the opportunity for MDA to be part of the milestone is an honour and reflection of the dedication and skill of our team.”- Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer, MDA
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.