Sparks, Nevada. July 23, 2014 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has expanded its Dream Chaser Space System’s global partnership to include Asia and the Pacific Rim through a recently signed memorandum of cooperative understanding with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
SNC will work with JAXA on potential applications of Japanese technologies and the development of mission concepts for the Dream Chaser spacecraft. Additionally, SNC and JAXA will explore the possibility of launching and landing the Dream Chaser spacecraft in Japan. This international collaboration will widen the breadth of the global capabilities offered by SNC’s Dream Chaser reusable, lifting-body spacecraft.
Currently, the Dream Chaser is undergoing development and flight test preparations to transport astronauts from the United States and partner nations to low-Earth orbit (LEO) destinations, such as the International Space Station (ISS). The first Dream Chaser orbital launch is scheduled for November 2016. Beyond the technical collaboration, the cooperation seeks to maintain and strengthen the existing global space partnerships established between Japan and the U.S.
JAXA joins an expanding SNC international team that includes the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Space Agency (DLR). SNC is confident that the expertise the Japanese bring will further advance the development of the Dream Chaser spacecraft, while providing JAXA access to Dream Chaser flights to advance its space technologies, flight opportunities and space interests in LEO.
“We are excited about the potential of this new relationship with Japan,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems. “This expands our global Dream Chaser Space System partnerships to include another major ISS partner with demonstrated capabilities that significantly advance space education and exploration. Japan, like the United States, has the infrastructure to support both launch and landing of the Dream Chaser spacecraft within its own borders.”
SNC’s Dream Chaser Space System is the only lifting-body, low-g reentry spacecraft with the capability to land on commercial runways, anywhere in the world. Dream Chaser is adaptable to meet a variety of mission requirements to retrieve, repair, replace, assemble or deploy items in space.