OSIRIS-REx’s Canadian Instrument Mapped Nightingale Site on Bennu Asteroid

Video Caption: 2019-12-12 – The Nightingale site, located near asteroid Bennu’s north pole, was selected as the OSIRIS-REx mission final sample site.

These detailed views of the location (complete with boulders, craters and other geological features) are based on a series of measurements taken by the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter OLA, the Canadian laser instrument aboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

Image creation: Michael Daly, Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science, York University (Credits: NASA, University of Arizona, Canadian Space Agency, York University, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA)

Useful Links

Canada’s role in OSIRIS-REx: http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/satellit…
The OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample-return mission: http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/satellit…

Find out more about this video: http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/search/v…

CSA Awards Lunar Rover Prototype Contracts to MDA, Neptec Design Group

CSA PRESS RELEASE
Nov. 25, 2010

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is awarding two contracts valued at $11.5 million each to MDA and Neptec Design Group of Ottawa. Each company will develop two fully functional terrestrial prototypes of a lunar rover that could one day be part of a future space exploration mission. The investment flows from the Government of Canada’s 2009 Economic Action Plan, and aims to accelerate the development of terrestrial prototypes and their associated technologies to prepare Canada to play a credible role in future international exploration opportunities.
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MDA Warns of Job and Technology Losses; Critics Decry Lack of Space Vision

MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates has warned that the Canadian government’s decision to block the sale of its space division to an American defense contractor Alliant Technosystems could backfire, resulting in the loss of jobs and key technologies, the Financial Post reports.

MDA wants to sell its space division to ATK for $1.3 billion in order to focus on its fast growing real-estate information business. If the sale does not go through, company officials say they would have three options:

  • purchase an American-based company to gain access to the U.S. market, draining funds from its information business;
  • hire hundreds of American workers so it can gain access to U.S. contracts, thus sending jobs south of the border;
  • collaborate with a U.S. company, with the risk of having its technologies stolen.

Last month, Industry Minister Jim Prentice rejected the sale on the grounds that it would have no net benefit for Canada. He sided with critics who say that the sale would damage the nation’s space program, sell off taxpayer-funded technology to the United States, and possibly block Canadian access to data from the Radarsat 2 satellite.

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Parliamentary Committee Supports Rejection of MDA Sale

A key parliamentary committee issued a report on Thursday supporting the Canadian government’s decision to reject the sale of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates’ space assets to American defense Contract Alliant Technosystems, the Globe and Mail reports.

“The report, tabled yesterday by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology and the result of hearings held last month to scrutinize the sale, comes as another blow to a deal already widely seen as on death’s door. Nonetheless, Richmond-based MDA is lobbying Ottawa for a chance to plead its case for the $1.3-billion transaction.”

The report is expected to bolster the decision by Industry Minister Jim Prentice to reject the proposed sale on the grounds that it did not provide “net benefits” to Canada. MDA wants to use profits from the $1.3 billion sale to continue expanding its rapidly-expanding information products business.











MDA Coverage Roundup

Canadian writers have spilled a lot of ink (and megabytes) over their government’s decision to block MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates’ planned sale of its space division to American defense contractor Alliant Technosystems (ATK).

Some writers said it was the right thing to do while MDA’s supporters criticized the government for excessive economic nationalism. Other writers said blocking the deal would do little to solve larger problems with a Canadian space program they believe is adrift.

Below is a sampling of reactions north of the border:

Harper’s right to hold up MDA deal

Edmonton Journal

Space Program Needed Protecting
The Record

Ottawa’s MDA veto a populist play to voters
The Globe and Mail

What’s bad for shareholders is good for national security
Calgary Herald

Lost in Space
National Post

Harper’s Avro Arrow?
National Post

Off the space race pace: Stopping the sale of MDA to the Americans won’t save our wounded aerospace program
Ottawa Sun











MDA Stock Falls Sharply as Canadian Government Rejects Sale

Shares of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates fell sharply on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday after the Canadian government signaled that it would block the company’s sale of its space division to an American defense contractor.

Shares of the Richmond, BC-based company, which had been trading at a high of $47 Canadian on Wednesday, fell to $42.85 Canadian on Thursday after Industry Minister Jim Prentice indicated that the”investment is not likely to be of net benefit to Canada.” The stock recovered slight to finish the week at $43.03 Canadian.

MDA had planned to sell its space division to U.S.-based Alliant Techsystems (ATK) for $1.325 billion in order to focus on its information systems business. Stockholders overwhelmingly approved the sale last month.

However, opponents said the sale would devastate the Canadian space industry, give Americans access to taxpayer-subsidized technology, and compromise the nation’s sovereignty. MDA built the Canadarms and the Dextre robot for the space shuttle and International Space Station, both funded by the Canadian government.

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Rideau Institute, Auto Workers Seek Release of Information on MDA Sale

CAW AND RIDEAU INSTITUTE PRESS RELEASE

TORONTO/OTTAWA, March 30 /CNW/ – The Canadian Auto Workers union and the Rideau Institute publicly released a letter written by their legal counsel calling upon Industry Minister Jim Prentice to release information regarding the purchase of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates’ (MDA) important Canadian space information systems, including RADARSAT-2 and the maker of the Canadarm by U.S.-based Alliant Techsystems (ATK).

Citing procedures regarding “Third Party Representations” which are set out under the Department’s Guidelines – Administrative Procedures issued pursuant to section 38 of the Investment Canada Act, the letter calls upon the Minister:

  • to seek permission from ATK to release any undertakings the U.S firm made to the government in support of its application;
  • to describe steps taken by the department in evaluating the compatibility of ATK’s application with other Canadian government policies; and
  • which departments, provinces and territories have been consulted about the application, as required by the Investment Canada Act.

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Should Canada Scuttle the MacDonald Dettwiler Sale?

Don Martin has an op-ed in the National Post urging the Conservative government of Stephen Harper to scuttle the sale of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates’ space division to American defense contractor Alliant Technosystems.

“This company’s heavily subsidized satellite technology was designed specifically to assert Northern sovereignty, assess global warming’s impact on our crops, measure sea-ice thickness and even spot submarines in shallow water,” Martin writes. “And that’s just the state-of-the-art 2,200-kilogram RADARSAT 2 satellite built and launched by MDA only three months ago.”

The proposed sale, overwhelmingly approved last week by shareholders, has created a major backlash north of the border. The company says it will produce a cash infusion that will allow it to focus on other businesses. Critics like Martin say the sale will devastate Canada’s space industry. The Canadian and American governments must approve the deal.

Shareholders overwhelmingly approved the sale on the very day that MDA’s latest creation, Dextre, rocketed into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavour. Astronauts have spent the last few days installing and activating the maintenance robot on the exterior of the station. MDA also built the Canadarm robot cranes for the space shuttle and space station.