WASHINGTON — NASA and Radarsat business spelled good news for Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) in the third quarter, the company reported Oct. 31. On the strength of those two programs in particular the company reported revenue and earnings increases for the quarter.

MDA reported net earnings of 21 million Canadian dollars ($18.6 million) for the quarter, up from 17 million Canadian dollars in the third quarter of 2005. The Richmond, B.C.-based company’s overall revenue for the quarter was 290 million Canadian dollars, up from 209 million Canadian dollars in the third quarter of 2005.

Daniel Friedmann, chief executive officer of MDA, said during an Oct. 31 conference call with investors that the company procured a recent contract for an undisclosed sum with a U.S. government agency it would not identify to provide Radarsat information products.

“These purchases expand MDA’s role as a major provider of space-borne wide-area surveillance to the U.S. government,” Friedmann said during the call.

The company also received a 1.5 million Canadian dollar contract from the Canadian government to develop a tool to help first responders assess threat levels.

MDA also expects significant revenue from its work on NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. MDA is pursuing subcontractor contracts with both COTS contract winners, Rocketplane Kistler of Oklahoma City and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of El Segundo, Calif., Friedmann said.

MDA inked a deal with Rocketplane Kistler Oct. 30, he said, though financial details are being worked out. In addition, he said the company is in negotiations with SpaceX. The Rocketplane Kistler deal alone could represent “many tens of millions of dollars over the next few years” for MDA, Friedmann said.

Meanwhile, production on the company’s Radarsat 2 satellite, scheduled to launch in early 2007, has been pushed back a few weeks because of delays, Friedmann said, though he would not elaborate on the issues.

The company expects that its NASA business in the area of robotic arms to remain steady over the next few years, Friedmann said.