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Iconic Canadarm finds home in Ottawa museum

LONGUEUIL, - The original Canadarm, which touched down on the last flight of the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour in May 2011, has itself a home in Ottawa.

After being returned to Canada, the robotic arm underwent a thorough evaluation at the facilities of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) in Brampton, Ont.

Industry Minister Christian Paradis says in a news release the arm will now be transferred to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.

And in an email, the Canadian Space Agency says the transfer will take place within two months, although no date has been mentioned. The robotic arm is still at MDA in Brampton.

Paradis calls the arm a "historic piece of Canadian technology" and says he is proud it will be on display for all Canadians to see.

He adds the Canadarm was absolutely critical to the space shuttle program and positioned Canada as a key partner in the International Space Station.

Spar Aerospace began developing the first Canadarm in Toronto in 1975 and it was delivered to NASA in April 1981.

It made its space debut on Space Shuttle Columbia on Nov. 13, 1981, and worked flawlessly for 90 shuttle missions, spending 944 days in space.