SNC’s ‘Shooting Star’ Arrives At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Shooting Star is a 15-foot attachment to Dream Chaser that will be used on NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract to provide extra storage for payloads and to facilitate cargo disposal upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

November 23, 2019 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) delivered a test version of its Shooting Star cargo module to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for testing ahead of its planned launch with SNC’s Dream Chaser spacecraft in 2021.

Shooting Star is a 15-foot attachment to Dream Chaser that will be used on NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract to provide extra storage for payloads and to facilitate cargo disposal upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. 

“With the addition of Shooting Star we add a capability for NASA, sending even more critical science, food and cargo to the International Space Station, and contributing to the important work the astronauts are doing every day,” said Eren Ozmen, SNC’s Chairwoman and President.

Dream Chaser will execute its first of at least six launches to the International Space Station in fall of 2021 under the CRS-2 contract.  The cargo module will carry an additional 10,000 pounds of pressurized and unpressurized payloads to the International Space Station.

A key capability for Dream Chaser is performing cargo disposal upon re-entry. SNC’s Shooting Star cargo modules will burn up in the earth’s atmosphere, discarding unwanted material offloaded from the International Space Station.

“Shooting Star’s ability to deliver additional cargo and provide a disposal service makes it and Dream Chaser extremely effective and versatile,” said former NASA space shuttle commander and retired USAF pilot Steve Lindsey, now senior vice president of strategy for SNC’s Space Systems business area.

For additional versatility, Shooting Star can support logistics services to other LEO destinations, including future commercial outposts, and for the lunar Gateway. SNC has also developed a concept for a free flying version that can act as a satellite to carry large payloads, with high-power capacity.