Sierra Nevada hits second milestone for Dream Chaser’s ISS cargo contract

Wednesday July 27, 2016 0 comments Tags: Louisville, Sierra Nevada Corp., Dream Chaser Cargo System, Steve Lindsey, NASA, ISS

SPARKS, Nev. -- Sierra Nevada Corp., whose space systems business is based in Louisville, announced it has passed the second Integration Certification Milestone under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract.Sierra_Nevada_logo

NASA assessed and fully approved SNC’s detailed approach for getting the Dream Chaser Cargo System to the International Space Station (ISS), the company said. SNC said its approved strategy demonstrates a thorough understanding of design requirements and available resources on both a system and subsystem level.

The Dream Chaser will provide a minimum of six cargo delivery missions to and from the ISS between 2019 and 2024.  The first milestone was passed several weeks ago and outlined technical, logistic and schedule procedures for the program.

“Successful completion of the second Integration Certification Milestone within six weeks of the first major milestone demonstrates that the Dream Chaser team is moving at full-speed to meet NASA’s cargo delivery needs,” said Steve Lindsey, senior director of programs for SNC’s Space Systems business area and Dream Chaser co-program manager.

“We very much appreciate NASA’s help and support through this milestone and those to follow. Our collective SNC/NASA team is confident in our design and strategy for the future and look forward to completing the work necessary to bring our unique cargo services solution to the ISS as rapidly as possible.”

SNC said completion of Milestone 2 means NASA and SNC collectively agree on the certification criteria used to confirm Dream Chaser designs meet CRS-2 mission requirements. 

These qualification and verification plans will be utilized during future integrated design and test milestones to validate Dream Chaser Cargo System capabilities.

SNC said the current flight vehicle has been upgraded with several cargo system design components to support multiple test objectives - verifying the spacecraft’s performance during final approach and landing, directly supporting the CRS-2 Certification Plan approved during Milestone 2. 

This will ultimately accelerate development of the first orbital mission and increase confidence through flight-tested systems, the company said. The vehicle was originally developed and tested in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which included a full-test campaign at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center leading up to the October 2013 approach-and-landing test.

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Louisville-based Space Systems 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. During its history, SNC’s Space Systems has concluded more than 70 programs for NASA and more than 50 other clients.