Canadarm2 extended over Earth

New Canadarm3 Contract Won by MDA Space 

By: Jordan Buck, 2024-07-01

MDA Space has received a follow-on contract to develop the 3rd iteration of the Canadarm. This version will be for the lunar Gateway, designed for orbit around the Moon. The previous versions of the Canadarm have been in use on the Space Shuttle program and the International Space Station (ISS). MDA Space has worked previously on these earlier robotic arms as well. This most recent contract is for NASA Phase C and D of the design, which will consist of final design, assembly, and testing. They have also signed on to provide a commercial space station, Starlab, with a robotic arm as well.  


In terms of cybersecurity implications and impacts, there are some unique circumstances here when considering this robotic arm. If an unscrupulous character were to gain access to the controls, then the Canadarm3 could inflict physical damage to many parts of the Gateway or directly sabotage the entire spacecraft completely. Additionally, given that the same company has already developed comparable products for previous space missions, any discovered faults may lead to vulnerabilities being exploited for existing hardware as well. This would have severe consequences for the ISS and its astronauts onboard.