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The Canadarm 2 reaches out to capture the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft and prepare it to be pulled into its port on the International Space Station, on April 17, 2015.The Associated Press

The Canadian Space Agency has awarded a contract worth $22.8-million to MDA to develop Canadarm3.

The agency says Canadarm3 is Canada’s contribution to the U.S.-led Lunar Gateway, a small space station that will orbit the moon.

The contract involves the award of Phase A of the Canadarm3 program, with options for follow-on phases.

MDA says the project will be a third-generation artificial intelligence-based robotic system.

The initial phase will establish the technical requirements needed for the design and manufacturing of the robotic system.

The Canadarm debuted in 1981 and flew on 90 space shuttle missions, while Canadarm2 has been operating on the International Space Station for nearly 20 years.

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