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

SNC’s Dream Chaser® spacecraft is a reusable, multi-mission space utility vehicle. It is capable of transporting cargo to and from low Earth orbit, where the International Space Station resides, and is the only commercial, lifting-body vehicle capable of a runway landing, like NASA’s former Space Shuttles.

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.

Discussions between SNC and Canada’s space sector will kick off at the CSA’s Dream Chaser for Canada event on December 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.

Quick facts

  • SNC is an accomplished American player in the new global space economy.
  • The spacecraft will have the capability to either dock automatically to the International Space Station (ISS) or be captured by Canadarm2 and berthed to the Station.
  • 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.


“Canada’s world-class reputation as a leader in multiple space technology areas such as robotics has led to this new international collaboration with Sierra Nevada Corporation. 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.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, 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.”

Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President of SNC’s Space Systems business area