The manipulator arm on the space shuttle. The Canadarm was developed by Spar Aerospace in the 1970s and early 1980s and quickly became the company's most recognizable product. The Canadian flag mounted proudly on the space shuttle arm was a source of pride to Canadians. The arm was a symbol of Canadian high-technology success. During 15 years of service, the Canadarm has been on more than 45 NASA space shuttle missions. It provided more than $500 million in export sales for Spar.
Spar has since sold the division that makes the Canadarm to American-owned MacDonald Dettwiler of Richmond, BC. Spar's 450-employee space robotics division will remain in Brampton under existing management.
The next generation of the Canadarm, the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), also designed by Spar's space robotics division, will help build the International Space Station.