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Sierra Space To Revolutionize Space Exploration With Siemens’ Xcelerator

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 1, 2022
Filed under , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Dream Chaser Tenacity (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)
  • Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio of software and services is central to Sierra Space’s plans for its next-generation digital engineering platform.
  • Dream Chaser® spaceplane, the world’s only winged commercial spaceplane is being designed, engineered, built and tested using Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio.
  • LIFE™ habitat to provide commercial habitation and science platform to be developed in a Digital Twin approach.

PLANO, Texas (Siemens Digital PR) — Siemens Digital Industries Software today announced that Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for Low Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, has implemented Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio of software and services as the foundation of its next-generation digital engineering program.  The company is implementing Xcelerator to establish a fully digital environment from engineering to manufacturing through sustainment, which will help realize goals to develop the future of space transportation, commercial space destination and infrastructure, and create enabling technologies that will build a vibrant, growing and accessible commercial space economy.

“At Sierra Space, we are building a platform in space that will be the catalyst for the next breakthrough innovations to benefit life on Earth. Our revolutionary new space platform is being developed using a next generation digital engineering environment that we’ve created in collaboration with Siemens,” Tom Vice, CEO, Sierra Space. “Siemens’ solutions will significantly accelerate development of our unique space platform – the first to combine all aspects of space transportation, space destinations and space applications in a holistic ecosystem.”

Siemens’ tools have been foundational during the development of Dream Chaser, and Sierra Space is building on this long-standing collaboration with Siemens as the company fully embraces a digital enterprise. Sierra Space will use Siemens’ Xcelerator in all phases of next-generation Dream Chaser development, including structural, thermal, mechanical, electrical, and software design, vehicle manufacture, requirements verification and complete lifecycle maintenance.  

The spaceplane is uniquely capable of a smooth 1.5 low-g re-entry for crew and cargo transportation with the ability to land on compatible existing commercial runways worldwide.  Representing the next generation of space transportation, NASA contracted Dream Chaser to perform cargo supply and return missions to the International Space Station (ISS), where it can deliver up to 12,000 pounds of cargo in a single trip. Sierra Space is expanding on this long-standing collaboration with Siemens as the company fully embraces the transformation to become a digital enterprise.

In addition to Dream Chaser, Sierra Space is also working to design, develop, build, operate, and support a customer-centric destination in Earth orbit. In partnership with Blue Origin, they have developed the Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) habitat, a key component in the Orbital Reef project. This modular, three-story commercial habitation and science platform and will provide opportunities for businesses including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and other sectors, to optimize zero gravity benefits. It can be deployed in low-Earth orbit, on the lunar surface, or lunar orbit and as a transport vehicle to Mars. Sierra Space will use Siemens’ Xcelerator in all phases of LIFE Habitat development and other space destination missions.

“We are honored to collaborate with Sierra Space on its mission to democratize access to space. Our work with the team at Sierra Space is well established – we look forward to standing alongside the team as they mature the Dream Chaser product line and the LIFE Habitat with the world’s most comprehensive digital twin technology at the core of their technology strategy.” said Tony Hemmelgarn, CEO and Chairman, Siemens Digital Industries Software. “This is another in a long list of recent announcements demonstrating that the today’s pioneers are adopting Siemens’ Xcelerator as their platform of choice for true innovation.”

Sierra Space will be presenting at the 37th Space Symposium, Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 4 to 7 2022.

Siemens Digital Industries Software is driving transformation to enable a digital enterprise where engineering, manufacturing and electronics design meet tomorrow. The Xcelerator portfolio helps companies of all sizes create and leverage digital twins that provide organizations with new insights, opportunities and levels of automation to drive innovation. For more information on Siemens Digital Industries Software products and services, visit or follow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram. Siemens Digital Industries Software – Where today meets tomorrow.

About Sierra Space

Sierra Space ( is a leading commercial space company with more than 30 years and 500 missions of space flight heritage looking to lead the new space economy and benefit life on Earth. Sierra Space is the developer of the Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFETM) Habitat, a modular, three-story commercial habitation and science platform. Designed for the burgeoning LEO marketplace, the company is also rapidly advancing toward the expected early 2023 launch of the Dream Chaser® spaceplane, the world’s only winged commercial space vehicle. Dream Chaser is reusable and uniquely capable of a smooth,1.5 low-g re-entry for crew and cargo transportation with the ability to land on existing commercial airport runways. The Dream Chaser spaceplane and LIFE platform are central components of the Orbital Reef commercial space station and mixed-use business park, under development in joint partnership with Blue Origin.

Note: Exports, sales, and offerings of the products and technologies discussed herein are subject to U.S. Government approval.

20 responses to “Sierra Space To Revolutionize Space Exploration With Siemens’ Xcelerator”

  1. Robert G. Oler says:

    hope this goes

  2. ThomasLMatula says:

    Given reports that Russia is going to support ISS into the future this could be another crew option for it.

    NASA says Russia is still ‘moving toward’ extending the space station through 2030

    Even as the US and Russia relationship sours

    By Loren Grush@lorengrush

    Mar 31, 2022, 1:07pm EDT

  3. se jones says:

    Well alright, they’re using Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio over there ?.
    I started my parametric CAD career with Siemens SolidEdge, before jumping to SolidWorks. Like going from a new Audi RS8 to a 1971’ Hemi ‘Cuda, both get it done – but you gotta wrench ? 2hr on the ‘Cuda for every 1hr you drive it.

    I’d consider switching back to Siemens CAD, but then I saw ? that man bun…nnnnnope.


    • duheagle says:


      I was underwhelmed by things like Catia and MasterCAM when I encountered them too. Catia, for example, was alleged to be a “parametric” modeler, but it didn’t even have primitives for things like screw threads. MasterCAM requires tedious definition of the geometry of parts, but then pays no particular attention to that when computing tool paths.

      My understanding is that SpaceX rolls most or all of its own engineering software. If so, I can certainly understand what likely motivated it to do that.

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