Artist illustration of the Dream Chaser spacecraft. Credit: SNC Space Systems

Artist illustration of Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser spacecraft at the space station.

Lockheed Martin to help build the Dream Chaser spaceship

By Charles Black
31 January 2013

(Sen) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), which is building an orbital spacecraft called Dream Chaser, has chosen aerospace giant Lockheed Martin to build the composite structure of the spaceship and to assist with certifying the vehicle for human spaceflight.

The Dream Chaser is being designed to carry seven astronauts into orbit. It will be launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and land on a runway like the Space Shuttle.

The Dream Chaser’s development has been supported and partly funded by NASA under the space agency’s commercial crew program. In August 2012 SNC was awarded $212.5 million by NASA under the latest phase of the crew program, the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap).

In December 2012, NASA awarded SNC a Certification Products Contract (CPC) under which the Dream Chaser will be certified as meeting the space agency’s safety requirements and standards for orbital space transport.

Under the terms of the partnership announced, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company – which is working on certifying NASA’s own Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle for human spaceflight – will assist SNC with the certification of the Dream Chaser.

Mark Sirangelo, boss of Sierra Nevada’s space division, said “This contract capitalizes on SNC’s success working with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, as well as Lockheed Martin’s expertise in developing and certifying Orion’s beyond low Earth orbit human spaceflight hardware as part of NASA’s Exploration Program. Our team will work towards the common goal of certifying the Dream Chaser to provide the next generation human transportation system.”

Read more: Lockheed Martin to help build the Dream Chaser spaceship — Sen.

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