SNC Completes First Dream Chaser Milestone Under NASA Cargo Contract

Rendering of SNC's Dream Chaser spacecraft & cargo module in orbit. Image Credit; Sierra Nevada Corporation

Rendering of SNC’s Dream Chaser spacecraft & cargo module in orbit. Image Credit; Sierra Nevada Corporation

July 11, 2016 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has successfully completed the ISS Integration Certification Milestone 1 for the Dream Chaser Cargo System under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract. Under this milestone, NASA approved SNC’s complete program implementation plan for the design, development, test and evaluation of the Dream Chaser Cargo System.

“The accelerated completion of the first milestone under the CRS2 contract award marks significant progress for SNC and the Dream Chaser program”, said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business area. “We are thankful for the support we’ve received from NASA. The prompt completion of this essential program milestone is a big step in bringing us closer to returning a winged, runway-landing vehicle to space. This momentum will carry us with confidence in developing a reliable and affordable solution for ISS cargo delivery, return and disposal.”

Detailed plans and processes for meeting technical performance and CRS2 integration schedules associated with execution of docking and berthing missions to the International Space Station (ISS) were included in this milestone. Also included are SNC’s supplier plans, integration schedules, organizational structure and status of program risks and risk mitigations.

In addition to SNC internal program integration, the milestone review covers the strategic plan for the involvement of external entities including international agreements and plans for obtaining necessary licenses from U.S. agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Aviation Administration.

Under the CRS2 contract, Dream Chaser will provide a minimum of six cargo delivery services to and from the ISS between 2019 and 2024.

In parallel with the continued execution of CRS2 milestones, SNC plans to resume the next phase of flight testing for Dream Chaser later this year. This vehicle was originally developed and tested in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program through Space Act Agreements (SAA). It was previously flown at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center and is being prepared for its second flight test through the SAA. It has been significantly upgraded in multiple areas to allow for testing to advance and to verify critical systems which will also be used in the next generation vehicle currently under development for the forthcoming NASA ISS cargo resupply missions.

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems, based in Louisville, Colorado, designs and manufactures advanced spacecraft, space vehicles, rocket motors and spacecraft subsystems and components for the U.S. Government, commercial customers, as well as for the international market. SNC’s Space Systems has more than 25 years of space heritage and has participated in more than 450 successful space missions for NASA and other clients.