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MDA technology celebrated on back of five-dollar bill

June 21, 2011, Richmond, B.C. - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates is pleased to note that International Space Station (ISS) workhorses Canadarm2 and Dextre received high recognition by way of the announcement today by the Government of Canada and the Bank of Canada to profile Canada's iconic robotics program on the new five-dollar bank note.


June 21, 2011
By Carey Fredericks

Releasing the security features of its new polymer banknote, the Bank of Canada made public the designs for the soon-to-be-issued $100 and $50 banknotes, and the themes for the remaining notes in the series.

'Canadian expertise in space robotics is unsurpassed,' noted Dr. Christian Sallaberger, vice-president of space exploration at MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA). 'We at MDA are pleased that our technology and engineering solutions have received the highest of honours, to be showcased on the back of the five-dollar bill.'

Like the Canadarm, which was developed for the Canadian government for NASA's space shuttle program, Canadarm2 and Dextre were a key contribution by the Government of Canada, in partnership with the United States, Russia, Japan and the participating countries of the European Space Agency, to construct the International Space Station. In return for its contribution,Canada received an unprecedented number of astronaut rides, more than any other nation after the US and Russia.

Canada contributed what is known as the 'Mobile Servicing System' aboard the ISS – the key components used to build and service this orbiting science laboratory. Canadarm2 has become the trusted strong arm that was essential for building the ISS and as the connection between astronauts and the ISS. Dextre, Canada's newest addition to the space station, is a two-armed robot capable of performing tasks currently handled by astronauts on spacewalks, therefore increasing the safety of humans aboard the ISS.

'We commend the Canadian Government and the Canadian Space Agency for their vision for Canada in space,' added Dr. Sallaberger. 'MDA is pleased to provide world-leading technologies that have built and continue to build Canada's large contribution to space exploration.'

The design of the new five dollar banknote will be unveiled in 2013. Currently, MDA-designed RADARSAT-1 remote sensing satellite appears on the back of the $100 banknote.