August 3, 2016 – Aerojet Rocketdyne has been awarded a contract from Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to supply the electrical power system for the Dream Chaser, a commercial spacecraft that will carry cargo to and from the International Space Station. The system will regulate power generated from the solar arrays and distribute it to the reusable spacecraft’s avionics, thermal and propulsion systems, as well as payloads that require electrical power.
“Aerojet Rocketdyne is honored to supply a critical power-management system for a spacecraft that will deliver supplies to astronauts living and working onboard the space station,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “We have been instrumental in efficiently and effectively managing power on the station for decades. We look forward to building upon that experience with Sierra Nevada Corporation, and developing future power systems for use on commercial missions, as well as NASA exploration programs and in-space transportation.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne will design, develop, fabricate, test and integrate SNC’s Dream Chaser electrical power system, including power conversion, distribution units and rechargeable batteries.
“The capacity of the rechargeable batteries will allow Dream Chaser to increase its free-flight time in space, as well as support the spacecraft’s cargo delivery and return journey back to Earth,” said Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of Advanced Space and Launch at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “We are proud to be able to provide a low-cost solution for the commercial spacecraft’s electrical power system.”
The Dream Chaser is a highly reusable, cost-effective orbital spacecraft that offers significant competitive advantages in terms of payload hosting and mission flexibility. Dream Chaser is part of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-2) program and leverages more than 40 years of NASA development and space-shuttle heritage.
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems business area is based in Louisville, Colorado. Earlier this year, SNC received a contract from NASA to fulfill at least six cargo delivery missions to and from the station through 2024. Aerojet Rocketdyne’s electric power management and distribution system will be used on those missions.