Sierra Nevada Receives Official NASA Launch Window for Dream Chaser

Dream Chaser lands (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev. (February, 7, 2018) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) received NASA’s Authority to Proceed for the Dream Chaser spacecraft’s first mission, with a launch window for late 2020. The mission will provide cargo resupply to the International Space Station under the Commercial Resupply Services Contract 2 (CRS2).

“SNC has been successfully completing critical design milestones as approved by NASA, and having a timetable for the first launch is another important step achieved for us,” said Fatih Ozmen, owner and CEO of SNC.  “The team has worked so hard to get to this point and we can’t wait to fulfill this mission for NASA.”

Key Mission Capabilities:

  • Delivers up to 5,500 kg (12,125 lb) of pressurized and unpressurized supplies and scientific research payloads
  • Remains attached to the space station for extended periods so crew can transfer cargo and perform science laboratory operations
  • Flying laboratory that allows scientists to send commands, receive data in real-time
  • Powered payload science experiments can operate continuously during the mission
  • Critical science is conducted from the pressurized cabin (crew-tended or autonomous)
  • Unpressurized cargo/experiments are transferred to or from the space station via robotic operations
  • Returns up to 2,000 kg of cargo via pinpoint landing at NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) for immediate post-landing handover to customer, maximizing the integrity of data collected on-orbit

“The Dream Chaser is going to be a tremendous help to the critical science and research happening on the space station,” said Mark Sirangelo, executive vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business area. “Receiving NASA’s Authority to Proceed is a big step for the program. We can’t wait to see the vehicle return to Kennedy Space Center to a runway landing, allowing immediate access to the science payloads being returned from the station.”

Sierra Nevada Signs Contract with NASA for Deep Space Habitat Prototype

Artist rendering of conceptual design for deep space habitat. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev. (January 25, 2018) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has formalized its agreement with NASA under Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2), signing a contract to design and develop a prototype for a deep space habitat. The formal signing of the contract under NextSTEP Broad Agency Announcement, Appendix A: Habitat Systems, aimed at enabling potential long-duration human missions in deep space, clears the way for actual production of SNC’s prototype in the coming months.

SNC is partnering with Aerojet Rocketdyne and ILC Dover to begin the conceptual architectural design; they will build a full-scale ground prototype of the main habitable volume over the next 19 months.

(more…)

A Look Back at the Space Year That Was

Total solar eclipse photographed from NASA Armstrong’s Gulfstream III. (Credit: (NASA/Carla Thomas)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

I realize it’s a bit late, but here’s a look back at the major developments in space in 2017.

I know that I’m probably forgetting something, or several somethings or someones. Fortunately, I have eagle-eyed readers who really seem to enjoy telling me just how much I’ve screwed up. Some of them a little too much….

So, have at it!  Do your worst, eagle-eyed readers!

(more…)

Sierra Nevada Completes NASA Milestone With Dream Chaser Glide Flight

Dream Chaser lands (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev., January 05, 2018 – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser program passed a major NASA milestone for its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCAP) contract with the completion of a successful Free-Flight test, which produced subsonic flight and landing performance data.

(more…)

Triumph Group Awarded Contract for Dream Chaser Landing Gear

Dream Chaser lands (Credit: NASA)

BERWYN, Pa. (Triumph Group PR)–Triumph Group, Inc. (NYSE:TGI) announced today that its Integrated Systems business unit will provide the landing gear system for the Dream Chaser® spacecraft, a reusable, lifting-body vehicle in support of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) program that will resupply the International Space Station. The contract for work was signed with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), and includes the main and nose landing gear as well as integrated actuation solutions for the landing gear and gear door systems manufactured at Triumph’s Redmond, Washington site.

(more…)

Dream Chaser Glide Test Fact Sheet

Dream Chaser during glide flight. (Credit: NASA)

Dream Chaser® Spacecraft Free-Flight Test Data Sheet

Date: Saturday, November 11th 2017

Lift-off time: 8:30 am PT

Release time: 09:41 am PT

Release altitude: 12,324 feet, mean sea level

Release equivalent air speed: 66 miles per hour

Release angle of attack: -2.17 degrees

Release angle of sideslip: -0.76 degrees

Maximum speed: 330 miles per hour

Maximum angle of attack in flight: 16.5 degrees

Dream Chaser time in glide: approx. 60 seconds

Dream Chaser horizontal glide distance: 16,217 feet

Dream Chaser touch down time: 09:42 am PT

Landing speed: 191 miles per hour

Landing touchdown point: 1,250 feet down runway

Landing rollout distance: 4,200 feet

Helicopter type: Columbia Helicopters Model 234-UT Chinook

Length of helicopter suspension system: 200 feet

Runway: Edwards Air Force Base Runway 22 Left

Vehicle length: 30 feet long

SNC Declares Dream Chaser Glide Flight Successful

Dream Chaser lands (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev., November 13, 2017 (SNC PR) — Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces a successful atmospheric Free-Flight test of its Dream Chaser spacecraft, signaling the program is another achievement closer to orbital operations.

(more…)

Dream Chaser Makes Successful Glide Flight at Edwards

Dream Chaser during glide flight. (Credit: NASA)

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser shuttle made a successful glide flight and landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Saturday.

Dream Chaser lands (Credit: NASA)

Dropped from a helicopter, the automated vehicle made a successful approach and landing on the concrete runway.

Dream Chaser lands (Credit: NASA)

Sierra Nevada is developing the Dream Chaser to deliver cargo to the International Space Station under a contract from NASA.

Dream Chaser lands (Credit: NASA)

It was the first flight of the Dream Chaser in four years. A previous glide flight ran off the runway in October 2013 when one half of the main landing gear failed to deploy.

Dream Chaser Designated “Best of What’s New”

Dream Chaser berthed at space station. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., October 18, 2017 – Popular Science magazine has selected Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser spacecraft for the 2017 “Best of What’s New” award. This recognition from the world’s largest science and technology magazine celebrates technologies that will “change our world.”

“We’re certainly proud to be recognized like this,” said Eren Ozmen, SNC’s owner and president. “And we’re even more excited about the future of Dream Chaser. This is America’s spaceplane — it has the best engineering and technology and represents our national pioneering spirit,” added Ozmen.

(more…)

Sierra Nevada, CSA Sign MOU on Dream Chaser Missions

Dream Chaser is prepared for its captive-carry test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., October 3, 2017 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to explore possibilities of using the Dream Chaser® spacecraft for future CSA missions and to facilitate the exchange of information between SNC and Canada. The agreement is a significant step toward greater collaboration to develop Dream Chaser technologies and applications that are mutually beneficial for SNC, the Canadian space industry and academia.

(more…)

Sierra Nevada Expands DLR Partnership

Dream Chaser berthed at space station. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev. (September 28, 2017) —  Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today, expanding its relationship with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for further collaboration on space initiatives.

The MOU provides a framework for the two organizations to cooperate in space-related technologies and transportation utilizing the Dream Chaser® spacecraft and space habitats.

(more…)

Sierra Nevada, UNOOSA Issue Call for Interest for Dream Chaser Mission

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

VIENNA, 26 September (UN Information Service) – The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) have issued a Call for Interest (CFI) for a proposed orbital space mission using SNC’s Dream Chaser® space vehicle.

(more…)

NASA’s Space Act Agreements with SpaceX, Boeing, ULA & Sierra Nevada


NASA has released a document listing the 1,206 active Space Act Agreements (SAAs) the agency has with commercial companies, non-profit organizations and state and local governments.

From that list, I’ve extracted agreements with individual companies. Below you will find tables listing SAAs that NASA has signed with SpaceX, Boeing, United Launch Alliance and Sierra Nevada Corporation. The four companies have been involved with NASA’s Commercial Crew and Commercial Resupply Services programs.

SAAs come in three varieties: reimburseable, non-reimburseable and funded. Under reimburseable agreements, a company or organization will pay NASA for its services. No money exchanges hands under non-reimburseable agrements. And under funded agreements, NASA pays the company to perform work or provide services. (The space agency made substantial use of SAA’s in the Commercial Crew Program.)
(more…)

Dream Chaser Completes Successful Captive Carry

Dream Chaser is prepared for its captive-carry test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

EDWARDS, Calif. — Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser spacecraft completed a successful captive-carry test (in which the craft is suspended from another vehicle during flight) today (Aug. 30) at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California’s Mojave Desert. The flight test was a crucial step toward using the space vehicle for orbital flights to the International Space Station.

Attached with a 200-foot-long (61 meters) cable to a Columbia 234-UT helicopter, a test model of the Dream Chaser lifted off at 7:21 a.m. PDT (10:21 a.m. EDT/1421 GMT). The two vehicles flew over Rogers Dry Lake for 1 hour and 41 minutes before landing (with Dream Chaser’s gear extended) at 9:02 a.m. PDT (12:02 p.m. EDT/1602 GMT).

“It went as well as we could possibly expect,” said Steve Lindsey, Sierra Nevada vice president of Exploration Systems, to a group of reporters after the flight. “We met every single flight-test objective.”

Read the rest of the story at Space.com