Supporting Astronauts Headed to the International Space Station

Government of Canada invests in simulators designed to train astronauts to operate Canadarm2 on board the ISS

Longueuil, Québec – (Yesterday), Industry Minister James Moore announced the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded a contract to L-3 MAPPS for simulator systems used to train astronauts and flight controllers to operate Canadarm2 and Dextre, Canada’s contribution to the International Space Station (ISS).

This investment positions Canada’s world class space sector at the forefront of international space exploration and demonstrates the Government of Canada commitment to the ISS.

Canadarm2 and Dextre are critical to maintaining the ISS and to ensuring that supplies reach the space station safely. The development of Canadarm2 and Dextre has led to significant technological advances in Canada, including the use of robots for neurosurgery, pediatric surgery and breast-cancer detection.

Quick facts

  • On June 2, 2015, Minister Moore announced that two Canadian astronauts will travel to the ISS by 2024.
  • The contract between CSA and L-3 MAPPS, a division of L-3 Communications, is worth $5 million over five years.
  • Under this contract, L-3 MAPPS will develop, integrate and validate the software required to maintain the CSA’s flight simulator facility.
  • All astronauts who operate Canadarm2 undergo two weeks of intensive robotics training at the CSA’s headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.
  • The CSA’s robotics training course puts students through their paces in the Mobile Servicing System Operations and Training Simulator, a flight simulator facility that replicates the interior of the US Destiny Lab and the cupola on board the space station, including the same monitors, hand controls and computers used in space.
  • The CSA’s simulator systems are also used by robotics specialists to plan and test all work done by Canadarm2 and Dextre.


“Our Government is proud to support international space exploration and to promote the expertise of the Canadian space sector. This investment demonstrates Canada’s leadership in space technology and we will continue to support companies that undertake cutting-edge research that benefits Canadians through technological advances and the creation of quality, high-paying jobs.”

~ Industry Minister James Moore

“L-3 MAPPS is proud of our long history in supporting the Canadian Space Agency training and simulation requirements to ensure mission success of both the space shuttle and now the international space station. Our innovative team of engineers looks forward to working with the Canadian Space Agency for many years to come.”

~ Rangesh Kasturi, L-3 MAPPS President

Source Canadian Space Agency