Maxar, the satellite industry giant, is now selling MDA. MDA is Maxar’s subsidiary the focuses on space robotics. According to the Reuter reports, the deal is worth around $1 billion CAD or US$765.23 million. The buying entity is a group of companies. Northern Private Capital, a private investment company, is heading this consortium. This company will completely take over the operations of MDA in Canada. This department is responsible for the development of MDA’s flagship robotic manipulators Canadarm and Canadarm2. These manipulators are currently in use on the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station respectively.
New Ownership, Old Operational Structure
Maxar’s aim behind selling the space robotics business is to free itself from some of its huge debts. Last September, the total debt amount of Maxar was at US$3.1 billion. So this move doesn’t come out as a surprise as Maxar was already actively looking for potential suitors for MDA. However, this takeover will not bring about any operational changes. MDA will continue to function as its own while being under the new owners. This implies that its existing contracts and plans will continue.
Moreover, MDA is also working on a range of projects for several clients. Some of the prominent MDA projects are the development of wildlife monitoring satellites and navigation antennas. These navigation antennas will find applications on satellites of other companies. Moreover, MDA is also working on the development of Canadarm3. Canadarm3 will be the most high-tech version of its robotic appendage to date. This system will find its use on the Lunar Gateway of NASA. This Lunar Gateway will be staging as well as a research station orbiting the moon. The Gateway mission is the latest part of the Artemis mission series of the US space agency.