Canadian space firms to work on American space vehicles

Canadian space firms to work on American space vehicles

Deal between the Canadian Space Agency, Sierra Nevada Corp. could generate jobs and space research opportunities.

October 10, 2017
Edited by Eric Brothers

Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business, and Sylvain Laporte, CSA president. (CNW Group/Canadian Space Agency)

Canada's space sector could benefit from better jobs and opportunities to bid on contracts thanks to a new agreement between Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC), a U.S. company providing technology solutions in space, aviation, electronics, and systems integration, and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

SNC's Dream Chaser spacecraft is a reusable, lifting-body vehicle capable of a runway landing. It is capable of transporting cargo to and from low Earth orbit, where the International Space Station resides.

Canadian firms and researchers will be able to propose their technologies and science to SNC. It will also allow Canada to explore the possibility of using the Dream Chaser for future Canadian missions and could lead the way for Canadian researchers to perform experiments and demonstrations in low Earth orbit.

"Working with this company can mean new business opportunities for Canadian firms and researchers in Canada's space sector, which may lead to jobs and new skills for Canadians and new space innovations in the years to come," said Navdeep Bains, Canada’s minister of innovation, science, and economic development.

"SNC is dedicated to international cooperation for space. We are always looking for new global partnerships and ways to share resources and technology that improve and increase space travel," said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC's Space Systems business.

Under an existing contract with NASA, SNC will be doing a minimum of six Dream Chaser cargo missions to the ISS by 2024. The first two missions are set to take place in 2020 and 2021.

Discussions between SNC and Canada's space sector will kick off at the CSA's Dream Chaser for Canada event Dec. 6-7, 2017, in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.

This initiative is aligned with the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year effort to create jobs for the middle class.