MDA To Provide Communications Subsystem For Dream Chaser

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser spacecraft cargo module in orbit. Image Credit: SNC

July 26, 2017 – MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), a global communications and information company, today announced that it has received an Authorization to Proceed on a multi-million dollar contract from Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). MDA will provide a communications subsystem for on-board communication signal processing capabilities for the Dream Chaser Cargo System, a cargo transportation spacecraft being developed by SNC under the NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS2) program.

Joanna Boshouwers, MDA’s vice president and general manager responsible for this business said, “We are pleased to continue our partnership with SNC and to contribute to the success of the CRS2 program. MDA is a long-term supporter of SNC’s innovative Dream Chaser space vehicle, and we look forward to working closely with SNC to bring it into service for NASA.”

The Dream Chaser spacecraft has been in development for more than 10 years, including six years as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and leverages more than 40 years of NASA spaceflight and space shuttle heritage.

In 2016, Dream Chaser was selected by NASA under the CRS2 contract to transport pressurized and unpressurized cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS) with return and disposal services. As a lifting body spacecraft, it’s able to land gently on an airport runway, making it an ideal vehicle for carrying sensitive science experiments back to Earth.

The spacecraft is scheduled for at least six cargo delivery missions to and from the ISS between 2020 and 2024. The first mission is set to lift off in 2020 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, in Florida.

SNC’s Space Systems business area, where the Dream Chaser spacecraft is built, is located in Louisville, Colorado.