Sierra Nevada Space Systems (SNC) said it is collaborating with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Teledyne Brown Engineering, both of Huntsville, Ala., on mission concepts for the Dream Chaser spaceplane the Louisville, Colo.-based company is building with roughly $300 million in financial support from NASA.
SNC signed an annex to its commercial crew Space Act Agreement that will allow Marshall’s Mission Operations Laboratory “to collaborate with SNC’s engineers to evaluate design reference missions, operations planning, training and mission execution for utilizing the Dream Chaser as a platform to complement and support science being performed on the” international space station, the company wrote in a March 11 press release.
The company also signed a teaming agreement with Teledyne Brown, an engineering services firm, to “evaluate strategic and technical partnership opportunities for the Dream Chaser Advanced Development team and other space systems collaborations,” according to the press release.
SNC was one of three companies selected in 2012 to continue development of their space taxis under funded Commercial Crew Integrated Capability awards. SNC’s award, at $212.5 million, was less than half of what NASA awarded Boeing Space Exploration and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to continue development of their competing capsule designs.
SNC’s Dream Chaser, the only lifting-body spacecraft in the competition, is being designed to launch atop’s Atlas 5 rocket.