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Sierra Nevada Corporation Adds Craig Technologies to Dream Chaser Team

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
June 13, 2014
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Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser flight vehicle undergoes taxi tow testing on May 31 at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California. (Credit: NASA)

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser flight vehicle undergoes taxi tow testing on May 31 at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California. (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev., June 12, 2014 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces it has selected Craig Technologies of Cape Canaveral, Florida, to join its expanding list of ‘Dream Team’ organizations selected to support SNC’s Dream Chaser® program.  SNC is developing the Dream Chaser spacecraft as a commercial transportation vehicle to low-Earth orbit.  Craig Technologies will provide multiple contracted products and services to SNC. The announcement was made at a press conference today at Craig Technologies Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Center in Cape Canaveral.

Craig Technologies’ first contract is to work with SNC engineers to design and develop a critical part of the Ground Support Equipment (GSE) known as the cradle, a mechanical device used to lift, transport and rotate the Dream Chaser spacecraft during processing. SNC chose to team with Craig Technologies on its Dream Chaser program because of their depth of human spaceflight experience coupled with their end-to-end design-to-production capability including specialty manufacturing, precision machining and fabrication, and test and evaluation services, as well as materials requirement planning and supply chain management systems.

“Today is the start of a relationship that can grow substantially as a continuation of our expansion in Florida” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems. “We are pleased to have Carol (Craig) and her company join forces as part of our Dream Team, which includes top tier companies in over 30 states. Craig Technologies’ strong engineering capabilities and outstanding facilities along with their company values and passion are an ideal fit for SNC and our Dream Chaser program. We look forward to exploring ways in which we can continue to work together, returning jobs to the Space Coast and continuing our commitment to small business.”

In support of Craig Technologies continual growth as a leading U.S.-Owned, Minority-Owned, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned (SDVO), Economically-Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB), and Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), SNC has agreed to sponsor Craig in a mentor-protégé relationship, supporting a common vision of providing each of SNC’s and Craig Technologies’ customers with agile, innovative and cost-effective solutions from a richly diverse and passionately dedicated workforce, all committed to making history.

Craig Technologies recently invested in the renovation of an existing 161,000 square foot facility in Cape Canaveral.The company leveraged NASA’s investment by utilizing the heritage space shuttle depot facility formerly occupied by United Space Alliance and converting it to office and manufacturing space, including the latest high tech, high precision, manufacturing equipment.

“To partner with the SNC Dream Team who marries ‘innovation with passion for the mission’ provides us an opportunity to fulfill our vision to further strengthen the Space Coast community,” said Carol Craig, founder and CEO, Craig Technologies.

Dream Chaser provides the only reusable, human-rated lifting-body spacecraft with a commercial runway landing capability, anywhere in the world, and is on the forefront of the commercial human spaceflight industry, offering safe, reliable and cost-effective crew and critical cargo transportation to low-Earth orbit. Dream Chaser is a multi-mission capable spacecraft that has the ability to operate as an independent science platform, or as a logistics vehicle to retrieve, repair, replace, assemble or deploy items in space.

8 responses to “Sierra Nevada Corporation Adds Craig Technologies to Dream Chaser Team”

  1. 1Nearby_Guy says:

    It should read DC “would like to provide” the only reusable…
    I’m not holding my breath until/if they launch. Just being realistic. Spaceflight is a show me business.

  2. Michael Vaicaitis says:

    “… offering safe, reliable and cost-effective crew and critical cargo transportation to low-Earth orbit”
    Safe, but not as intrinsically safe as the other two options being developed.
    Cost-effective..ish, but not as cost effective as the other two options being developed.

    Cargo capable perhaps, but only with a launcher able to lift both the 11,300 kg vehicle and its payload. The Atlas V with a dual engine upper stage has a lift capability of 12,500kg, so not much margin for cargo. You could use a configuration with SRBs for cargo, but is that acceptable for crew?. If not, then you couldn’t combine crew and cargo. Also, to date, the dual engine (crew friendly) configuration has never flown.

    Not to mention that a 21st century spacecraft should land vertically, according to some opinions.

    • Aerospike says:

      Beings CST-100 needs the DEC (dual engine centaur) as well, so that’s not a point against Dream Chaser alone.

      And regarding Cargo: I have always assumed that the cargo would be a) inside and b) crew and/or cargo. In other words: more cargo means less crew.

      Do you know if the 11,300 kg cited for DC is including payload (crew) and fuel or empty dry mass? I guess if it is empty dry mass and accurate, it could not even launch on Atlas 5 without SRBs.

      • Michael Vaicaitis says:

        Wikipedia don’t say whether dry or wet – I’m presuming that’s fuelled but sans payload (crew/cargo).

        CST-100 is slightly better, but still a little on the lardy side. Average/approx. 10 tons (so about 9,000 kg). Don’t know if that includes the escape/service module though. At 9 tonnes, compared to Dragon V1 at 5 tonnes, perhaps they shouldn’t have gone for the exotic cast iron and lead composite. Though at 4.56m diameter, it’s a metre wider than Dragon.

        Anyhow, in both cases, they’re pushing the limits of the planned for launcher, once loaded up. With any luck they’ll both be able to hitch a ride on an F9. DC’s too heavy for a reusable first stage though and it’s touch and go for CST. By comparison, Elon was suggesting that even with crew, Dragon V2 could squeeze a ton(ne?) of cargo inside and 2-3 in the trunk. Quite frankly I’m surprised Boeing hasn’t been a bit more inventive. It almost seems, dare I say it, a bit half-assed. DC big advantage (nay, only advantage) is the low-g re-entry, but given the current launcher and budget situation, I think it may have turned up 10 years before its time.

  3. Aerospike says:

    The image caption says: Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser flight vehicle undergoes taxi tow testing on May 31 at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California.
    Is that May 31 st 2013 or 2014? In other words: is that already the new/repaired flight test article of DC?

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