PARIS —  Canada’s MDA Corp. will design and build two lunar rover prototypes for yet-undetermined missions under a contract with the Canadian Space Agency valued at 11.5 million Canadian dollars ($11.3 million) and announced Nov. 18.

The contract, part of the agency’s Exploration Surface Mobility Program, calls for the rovers to be ready for field testing in late 2012 along with other robotic technologies Canada is developing to prepare for a future international space exploration effort.

Richmond, British Columbia-based MDA had won an earlier contract, valued at 6 million Canadian dollars, to design a prototype Mars rover under the same program.

The Exploration Surface Mobility Program, along with work on a next-generation Canadarm, is part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The government is investing 110 million Canadian dollars over three years, through 2012, to position Canadian industry for future space missions in which robotics will play a central role.

Peter B. de Selding was the Paris bureau chief for SpaceNews.