Feds award contract to build space vision system to help with ISS maintenance

LONGUEUIL, Que. - The Canadian government is commissioning a new tool that will be used in the maintentance and inspection of the aging International Space Station.

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It is roughly the size of a microwave oven and is to be mounted to Dextre, the Canadian-made robotic handyman aboard the ISS, to help inspect for any damage.

Space debris and small meteorites routinely hit the station, causing damage unseen to the naked eye.

The vision system will be compromised of three sensors -- a 3D laser and two cameras, one high-definition and one infrared.

The design contract has been awarded to Ottawa-based Neptec for an initial $1.7 million and the sophisticated technology is expected to be launched in 2020.

Navdeep Bains, the federal minister for innovation, science and economic development, made the announcement at the Montreal-area Canadian Space Agency alongside Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen.



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