SNC’s Dream Chaser spaceplane cleared for Florida runway landing
(4 May 2021 - SNC) Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has entered into a Use Agreement for Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility (LLF) to land the Dream Chaser spaceplane in support of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contract.
Dream Chaser, America’s Spaceplane, will service the International Space Station (ISS) under the CRS-2 contract in 2022.
“This is a monumental step for both Dream Chaser and the future of space travel,” said SNC CEO Fatih Ozmen. “To have a commercial vehicle return from the International Space Station to a runway landing for the first time since NASA’s space shuttle program ended a decade ago will be a historic achievement."
The Use Agreement makes SNC the first commercial user of Space Florida’s FAA Re-entry Site Operator License and provides the runway and support facilities needed during testing and landing. It also takes SNC one step further in applying for its own FAA re-entry license, something needed ahead of the first Dream Chaser mission next year.
“The Dream Chaser spaceplane is hands-down the best way home,” said Janet Kavandi, executive vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business area. “A runway landing is the optimum solution for both humans and science.”
Dream Chaser has the potential to land at any FAA licensed landing site that has a suitable 10,000 ft runway capable of handling a typical commercial jet. Its low-g entry and runway landing protects sensitive payloads and provides immediate access to payloads upon landing.
The LLF’s proximity to Kennedy Space Center and formal recognition as a designated return site for rapid recovery of precious ISS cargo makes it the ideal location for the first orbital vehicle in SNC’s Dream Chaser fleet, the Dream Chaser Tenacity spaceplane to make its debut landing.
SNC recently announced its Space Systems Group will transition to an independent commercial space company, Sierra Space.
About Sierra Space
Sierra Space is a new independent commercial space company, created from the space capabilities of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). Leveraging breakthrough technologies including the Dream Chaser spaceplane and expandable LIFE habitat, Sierra Space builds and delivers the future of space transportation, destinations and infrastructure for LEO commercialization. Its turnkey, space-as-a-service solutions are modular, scalable and reusable, opening space to new participants globally. With 30+ years of proven spaceflight heritage, Sierra Space has provided more than 4,000 systems, subsystems and components to customers worldwide, and participated in more than 500 missions to space, including to Mars. Sierra Space is a subsidiary of global aerospace and national security leader Sierra Nevada Corporation.
About Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)
Owned by Chairwoman and President Eren Ozmen and CEO Fatih Ozmen, SNC is a trusted leader in engineering answers to the world's toughest challenges, through customer-focused technologies and best-of-breed integrations in aerospace and defense and national security space. For nearly 60 years, SNC technology has delivered state-of-the-art civil, military and commercial solutions. SNC has received numerous awards and distinctions innovation, customer satisfaction and leadership including being named a US Best Managed Company for two consecutive years. In spring 2021, SNC announced the transition of its Space Systems business area to an independent commercial space company, Sierra Space.