07/29/2013 05:53 EDT | Updated 09/28/2013 05:12 EDT

MDA signs $1.7M deal with Sierra to develop spacecraft communications

RICHMOND, B.C. - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX:MDA) said Monday it has signed a $1.7 million contract with Sierra Nevada Corporation to build on-board communications for its Dream Chaser spacecraft.

SNC is one of three companies funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to develop a reuseable spacecraft to transport crew and cargo from the International Space Station to Earth. MDA said if successful, the communications capabilities could be used on future spacecraft.

Last week, the company signed a multimillion-dollar deal with airplane-maker Boeing.

MDA did not disclose the value of the four projects, but said they were related to its communication satellite.

The company is best known for manufacturing robotic arms used on the International Space Station and the now retired U.S. space shuttles. MDA supplies technology to a variety of businesses that use satellites to collect information from space.

It has some 4,500 employees operating from 11 locations in the United States, Canada and internationally.