SPARKS, Nev., 4 Aug. 2012. Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), an electronic systems provider and systems integrator, has been awarded $212.5 million as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability program to support the company's Dream Chaser space system.
To date, the SNC team has completed 19 milestones; including a full system Preliminary Design Review and first captive carry flight, in addition to a number of additional tasks. The remaining milestone under the second round of NASA funding will be an approach and landing test scheduled for later this year, mirroring the first flight test of the space shuttle program. The full CCiCap Program will allow SNC to complete development of the Dream Chaser space system and transport crews to space as early as 2016.
-- Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle begins flight test program
-- The Dream Chaser space system by Sierra Nevada passes preliminary design review
-- Sierra Nevada completes captive carry test of Dream Chaser space vehicle
The Dream Chaser is a crewed suborbital and orbital vertical-takeoff, horizontal landing lifting-body space plane that is developed by SpaceDev, a subsidiary of SNC. The Dream Chaser is designed to carry seven people to and from low earth orbit. The vehicle is designed to be launched vertically on an Atlas V rocket and land horizontally on conventional runways.
The Dream Chaser was publicly announced in September of 2004 as a candidate for the NASA vision for space exploration, and then for the commercial orbital transportation services program. The Dream Chaser is being developed as part of NASA's venture into commercially provided crew transport.