MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., recently announced it has been awarded an additional $6.6 million from the Canadian Space Agency for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, reaching a total contract value of $25 million.
Through a six-month period MDA will build a laser-based tool to create a high-resolution 3D model of the Bennu asteroid, in order to get a better grasp of how the solar system was formed and how it has changed, said the company.
“MDA’s participation in this landmark mission builds on the expertise and technology developed for NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander and U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) XSS-11 missions,” said Craig Thornton, general manager for Robotics and Automation at MDA. “As future commercial and government space ventures emerge, we are well positioned to provide flight-proven vision systems that meet stringent mission requirements.”
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is scheduled to launch in September 2016 to collect data on Bennu and return samples back to Earth in 2023.