In addition to its work on the U.S.-based NASA Phoenix Mars mission scheduled for 2007, MDA is positioning itself as a key player on other international Mars exploration missions. The Company will be working with some of Europe's largest aerospace contractors, including Alcatel of France, CGS, Laben of Italy, and Kayser-Threde of Germany.
The Company will act as prime contractor to ESA on an initial study to develop an advanced guidance, navigation and control system that will be used to safely land a spacecraft on Mars, and enable it to rendezvous on orbit with another spacecraft to return a Mars sample to Earth. This mission is anticipated to launch in 2011. MDA's contribution on this project will be spacecraft control algorithms, sensor technology, simulation, and testing.
For the ExoMars Mission, planned for 2009, MDA will carry out a subcontract for Alcatel of France, and will contribute its expertise in space robotics, rovers, specialized automated equipment, and sensors to design a sophisticated autonomous and mobile robotic system to execute the mission's primary goals.
These strategic study contracts support MDA's intention to take the leading role in space robotics and advanced guidance and navigation systems for the European Space Agency's planetary exploration missions.