SPARKS, Nev., 6 Aug. 2012. Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) won a 21-month, $212.5 million contract under NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) program for its Dream Chaser Space System.
The funding is part of NASA's ongoing effort to create a commercial human transportation system to low Earth orbit. “This award will allow our Program to continue to make great strides in the development of the Dream Chaser Space System,” says Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of SNC's Space Systems. “We want to express our appreciation to all of those that have provided great support in our efforts, including everyone within our organization and our terrific external team partners, the NASA personnel assigned to our efforts and throughout the NASA Centers and our federal, state, and local government representatives.
"SNC, as the owner and prime contractor for the Dream Chaser Space System, on behalf of all of our industry, academic, and NASA Center teaming partners, would like to thank NASA for showing the confidence in us and for all its efforts to maintain the vital Commercial Crew Program as part of its plan for the future of space transportation,” Sirangelo says.
SNC has integrated the efforts of leading aerospace companies, academic institutions, and NASA Centers to advance the development of the Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle and the associated mission, ground, and crew systems, as well as launch vehicle integration.
To date, the SNC team has completed 19 milestones, including a full system Preliminary Design Review and first captive carry flight. The remaining milestone under the second round of NASA funding will be an Approach and Landing Test scheduled for later this year, mirroring the first flight test of the Space Shuttle Program.
The full CCiCap Program will allow SNC to complete development of the Dream Chaser Space System and transport crews to space as early as 2016.
"We are pleased to be selected to continue development of the Dream Chaser Space System and proud that NASA is showing confidence in the SNC team's ability to develop our nation's next human spacecraft. Our team will continue to work with NASA to ensure that the Dream Chaser is a reliable and safe spacecraft to carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station," says Jim Voss, vice president of SNC's Space Exploration Systems and Dream Chaser Program Manager. "I believe we were chosen to continue the Dream Chaser Program because we have a great design, a great team, and have demonstrated, in cooperation with our NASA partner, that we can develop a human spacecraft in a rapid and cost effective manner."