OTTAWA, Feb. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ - MDA, a Maxar Technologies company (NYSE: MAXR) (TSX: MAXR), today announced that it has partnered with FIRST Robotics Canada as a gold sponsor of the robotics competition "Destination: Deep Space." In an epic space adventure of innovation with a build time of only six weeks, high school students collaborate in teams to engineer and program robots to compete across Canada. The competitions combine the excitement of a championship sporting event with the practical application of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with mentorship from industry experts.
"MDA is an acknowledged world leader in space robotics, satellite communications, Earth observation and space science, with five decades of expertise that includes some of Canada's most innovative accomplishments," said Mike Greenley, group president of MDA. "This is exciting to be partnering in this truly impressive organization. Connecting the future leaders in technology with hands-on experience and real-time fun is a great way to spark interest in space and STEM studies."
Each year, students in the FIRST program are faced with a focused challenge connected to relevant real-world topics, and this year, space is the chosen theme. Space touches the lives of Canadians 20-30 times a day, from weather predictions, to using an ATM, to checking a map on a smartphone, to downloading movies, to ground and air traffic management. Space applications will be even more pervasive in the future, as autonomous cars, smart cities and advanced autonomous AI-enabled robotics mature.
"FIRST Canada is thrilled to partner with MDA, Canada's leading space company," says Mark Breadner, president of FIRST Canada. "Students are inspired by the innovations at MDA and can use the expertise and experience of the MDA team when imagining and building their projects this season. It's absolutely critical to have these kids and youth thinking forward to the future of space discovery to become positive leaders in space advancement and STEM fields."
MDA has a long and successful history as a trusted supplier of robotics and communications subsystems for the ISS. The Mobile Servicing System on the ISS is comprised of Canadarm2, the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator known as "Dextre" and the Mobile Base System. MDA built these innovative robotic systems that perform a variety of operations including resupply, maintenance and servicing tasks vital to the ongoing operations of the ISS. MDA also designed and built the Space Shuttle robotic arms, known as Canadarm, which wrapped up 30 years of successful operations when they were retired along with the Space Shuttle program after completing 90 missions.
Canada currently has the opportunity to leverage this proven industrial base to provide next generation AI-based robotics to the next space station, the Lunar Gateway. This type of program is expected to create thousands of high-quality space jobs within Canada over the next two decades.
"MDA feels strongly in the need to support the next-generation space workforce and ensure our best and brightest have opportunities to work in a revitalized Canadian space sector. That is why this opportunity to support FIRST Robotics Canada is so meaningful to us," added Greenley.
MDA is an internationally recognized leader in space robotics, space sensors, satellite payloads, antennas and subsystems, surveillance and intelligence systems, defence and maritime systems, and geospatial radar imagery. MDA's extensive space expertise and heritage translates into mission-critical defence and commercial applications that include multi-platform command, control and surveillance systems, aeronautical information systems, land administration systems and terrestrial robotics. MDA is also a leading supplier of actionable mission-critical information and insights derived from multiple data sources. Founded in 1969, MDA is recognized as one of Canada's most successful technology ventures with locations in Richmond, Ottawa, Brampton, Montreal, Halifax and the United Kingdom. MDA is a Maxar Technologies company (TSX: MAXR;NYSE: MAXR). For more information, visit www.mdacorporation.com.
About Maxar Technologies
As a global leader of advanced space technology solutions, Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates) is at the nexus of the new space economy, developing and sustaining the infrastructure and delivering the information, services, systems that unlock the promise of space for commercial and government markets. As a trusted partner, Maxar Technologies provides vertically integrated capabilities and expertise including satellites, Earth imagery, robotics, geospatial data and analytics to help customers anticipate and address their most complex mission-critical challenges with confidence. With more than 6,100 employees in over 30 global locations, the Maxar Technologies portfolio of commercial space brands includes MDA, SSL, DigitalGlobe and Radiant Solutions. Every day, billions of people rely on Maxar to communicate, share information and data, and deliver insights that Build a Better World. Maxar trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange as MAXR. For more information, visit www.maxar.com.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international non-profit organization designed to inspire students to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. FIRST Robotics Canada, which was started in 2002, now reaches over 20,000 Canadian students from kindergarten to grade 12. More information can be found at www.firstroboticscanada.org.
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