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A northern Ontario company is being awarded a Canadian Space Agency contract to work on a multi-purpose device that's designed for future mining on the moon and Mars.

Deltion Innovations Ltd. of Capreol will develop the combination drill and rotary multi-use tool, which it describes as a space-age Swiss Army knife.

The device, which would be installed on the end of a robotic arm, is designed to drill into rock and other materials to capture a variety of samples.

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It would also be used in robotic construction, maintenance and repair tasks.

Deltion CEO Dale Boucher says in a news release the project continues his company's "unique heritage" of space mining technology developments.

The awarding of the $700,000 contract is to be officially announced at a news conference in Capreol this afternoon and Deltion is subcontracting with two other Ontario firms – Neptec Design Group of Kanata and Atlas Copco of North Bay.

Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre says the contract will increase Canada's capabilities in the rapidly emerging field of space mining.

The project, part of the CSA's space technology development program, has been given the acronym "PROMPT" (Percussive and Rotary Multi-Purpose Tool).

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