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  • Sep 12, 2017
  • Comments Off on MDA Celebrates Historic Space Robotic Milestone on Mars Rover Curiosity
  • Corporate, News

September 12th, 2017
MDA Celebrates Historic Space Robotic Milestone on Mars Rover Curiosity

Brampton, ON MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA” or the “Company”) (TSX:MDA), a global communications and information company, celebrates a milestone achievement of the successful operation of the MDA-built Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS), a scientific instrument carried on the Mars rover Curiosity. Developed with principle investigator Dr. Ralf Gellert of the University of Guelph for the Canadian Space Agency, APXS determines the relative abundances of elements in rocks and soils of the red planet, providing scientists with information on water activity, the formation of the planet’s crust, and how the surface has been impacted by weather.

In November 2011, the NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) robotic space probe mission to Mars launched and culminated in the successful landing of Curiosity in Gale Crater on August 6, 2012. Since its launch, the iconic rover has operated 1826 days, well beyond its 687 day primary mission life, and travelled over 17 kilometers, providing a wealth of operational information to scientists. Canada has played an integral part in this mission and solidified Canada’s place as a world leader in the development of robotic solutions in the harsh environment of space.

After being placed in contact with rock and soil samples on Mars, the APXS exposes the material to alpha particles and X-rays, and measures the resulting radiation. APXS has operated over 2,300 hours since its arrival on Mars and has captured and recorded samples on almost 500 scientific targets.

MDA’s robotic heritage spans over three decades, and includes the Mobile Servicing System which comprises Canadarm2, the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator known as “Dextre,” and the Mobile Base System. These three robotic systems perform a variety of operations ranging from resupply, maintenance, and servicing tasks on the space station that are critical to the on-going operations of the ISS. This expertise supports the Company’s transformational on-orbit satellite servicing capability announced in June 2017.

About MDA

MDA is a global communications and information company providing operational solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide. MDA’s business is focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, primarily in the Communications sector and the Surveillance and Intelligence sector. In addition, the Company conducts a significant amount of advanced technology development. MDA’s established global customer base is served by more than 4,800 employees operating from 15 locations in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The Company’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TSX:MDA. For more information, visit

About SSL MDA Holdings

SSL MDA Holdings is a wholly owned subsidiary of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) and serves as the operating company for all MDA businesses. SSL MDA Holdings is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA” or the “Company”) with respect to future events, financial performance and operational capabilities.  The forward-looking statements in this regard include statements regarding the operational capabilities and future performance of the Company’s APXS technology and the information anticipated to be received from the operation of that technology.  Any such forward-looking statements are based on MDA’s current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends. The factors and assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements in this release include contracts with existing customers not being terminated.  Any such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. MDA cautions readers that should certain risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those expected. The risks that could cause actual results to differ from current expectations include changes in government priorities, mandates, policies, funding levels, contracts and regulations; failure of third parties and subcontractors; and failure to anticipate changes in technology, technical standards and offerings or compliance with the requisite standards, or failure to maintain technological advances and offer new products to retain customers and market position, or quality issues, failure of systems to meet performance requirements, potential for product liability, or the occurrence of defects in products or systems could result in lost revenue and harm to the Company’s reputation.

For additional information with respect to certain of these risks or factors, plus additional risks or factors, reference should be made to the Company’s continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities, which are available online under the Company’s profile at  or on the Company’s website at

The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the form or content of this release.