The Satellite Operations Contract between MDA and the Canadian Space Agency

In an announcement, MDA declared that it won a contract from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The terms of this agreement include the provision of satellite flight operations. CSA will also expect data management services from MDA. Another expectation by the agency is satellite missions that create awareness of space and also facilitates Earth observation.

The main focus of MDA will be NEOSSat, SCISAT, and the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM). It will offer various services, including controlling and monitoring the spacecraft’s health, analyzing operations, maintaining the basic system, and handling data order. Others are managing image quality, processing data, and archiving data. Its area of jurisdiction will be in Longueuil, where the agency’s Multi-Mission Control Centre lies.

Nevertheless, one must acknowledge that MDA will not be doing all that alone. On the contrary, it will achieve it throw the collaboration of two giant space companies. Its other Canadian counterparts are Mission Control Space Services and Calian Advanced Technologies. The contract is three years long, and its worth is CAD$ 36.6 million minus taxes. If a need arises, the deal might be extended but not for more than two more years.

It is important to note that it is not the first time MDA and CSA worked together. During the construction of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, the former was also at the heart of it. It is a third-generation radar satellite system, and its importance in Canada is indispensable. The country launched it in June 2019, and the launch was a success. Its commission happened later that same year. Ever since the launch, MDA offers all its necessary satellite operations services. As a result of this contract, it is only right to say that MDA’s mandate over RCM just got even more substantial. As a matter of fact, its stand in satellite operations is also at another level.

MDA will also be in charge of SCISAT. It is also crucial, and it has been helping Canada and the rest of the world understand ozone layer depletion since 2003. A decade later, the idea of Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat) saw the light of the day. The space services firm will also be managing this space telescope. Although other similar missions exist now, it was the first one on satellites and asteroids detection and tracking.

MDA also has a contract with the country’s Department of National Defense. This agreement obliges it to operate Sapphire. The launch vehicle for this surveillance satellite is the same one that lifted NEOSSat off. It is also the same case with MDA’s RADARSAT-2, which is an Earth observation satellite.