Sierra Nevada Corporation Completes First Dream Chaser Cargo Service Milestone

Dream Chaser spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)
Dream Chaser spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev. (July 11, 2016) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is pleased to announce the successful completion of ISS Integration Certification Milestone 1 for the Dream Chaser Cargo System under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract.

Under this milestone, NASA approved SNC’s complete program implementation plan for the design, development, test and evaluation of the Dream Chaser Cargo System. This includes plans and processes for meeting technical performance and CRS2 integration schedules associated with execution of docking and berthing missions to the International Space Station (ISS).

Details included supplier plans, integration schedules, organizational structure and status of program risks and risk mitigations. Under the CRS2 contract, Dream Chaser will provide a minimum of six cargo delivery services to and from the ISS between 2019 and 2024.

“The accelerated completion of the first milestone under the CRS2 contract award marks significant progress for SNC and the Dream Chaser program”, said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business area. “We are thankful for the support we’ve received from NASA. The prompt completion of this essential program milestone is a big step in bringing us closer to returning a winged, runway-landing vehicle to space. This momentum will carry us with confidence in developing a reliable and affordable solution for ISS cargo delivery, return and disposal.”

In addition to SNC internal program integration, the milestone review covers the strategic plan for the involvement of external entities including international agreements and plans for obtaining necessary licenses from U.S. agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Aviation Administration.

In parallel with the continued execution of CRS2 milestones, SNC plans to resume the next phase of flight testing for Dream Chaser later this year. This vehicle was originally developed and tested in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program through Space Act Agreements (SAA). It was previously flown at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center and is being prepared for its second flight test through the SAA. It has been significantly upgraded in multiple areas to allow for testing to advance and verify critical systems which will also be used in the next generation vehicle currently under development for the forthcoming NASA ISS cargo resupply missions.