December 26, 2019 – Global aerospace and national security contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced that Janet Kavandi, senior vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business area, has been recognized with the Presidential Rank Award (PRA), the nation’s highest civilian career federal leadership award. The White House selected the 2019 awardees and they were recognized earlier this month at the PRA Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.
“Janet has made an invaluable contribution to U.S. leadership in space and continues to do so in her current role at SNC, even after her remarkable career at NASA,” said SNC Chairwoman, President and owner Eren Ozmen.
Kavandi is a former NASA astronaut and was director of the agency’s Glenn Research Center. She retired in September after 25 years with NASA. Now, within SNC’s Space Systems business area Janet oversees all programs including the production and testing of the Dream Chaser® spaceplane, which will service the International Space Station under NASA contract starting in late 2021.
“Getting Dream Chaser flown for the first time – to see it launch and land successfully – will be amazing,” Kavandi said. “I spent a lot of time in government thinking about flying in space and I want to enable humanity to do even more in the exploration of space. I’m very grateful for this honor and I’m as motivated as ever to make that happen.”
Kavandi also oversees SNC’s development of technologies to support the Artemis missions to the lunar surface, and the commercialization of low-Earth orbit. Last month at Kennedy Space Center SNC unveiled its Shooting Star cargo module, a 15-foot attachment to the Dream Chaser that is human rated, can serve as a free-flying vehicle in space, and be used for cargo resupply for moon missions. NASA last month also selected SNC for an IDIQ contract under Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), and the company’s inflatable LIFE™ habitat is under consideration for NASA’s Lunar Gateway, an orbiting platform to be used as a steppingstone for missions to the Moon and beyond, including to Mars.