WASHINGTON — Sierra Nevada Corp. will acquire space component and technology supplier Orbital Technologies Corp. (Orbitec) for an undisclosed sum in a deal announced by the Sparks, Nevada-based company June 19.

Orbitec of Madison, Wisconsin, provides space-based propulsion, energy and life-support systems and also has capabilities in fire suppression and other emergency response technologies.

In a press release, Sierra Nevada noted that Orbitec is supplying propulsion, environmental and thermal control systems for its planned Dream Chaser astronaut transport vehicle. Dream Chaser is one of three concepts being developed under NASA’s commercial crew program, through which the agency plans to begin flying astronaut crews to and from the international space station in 2017.

The release said Orbitec’s technologies will be integrated into Sierra Nevada Space Systems of Louisville, Colorado, but will maintain and even expand its operations in Madison.

“ORBITEC’s impressive performance as our partner on the Dream Chaser program for [environmental closed-loop life support systems] demonstrates their strong capability to deliver human spaceflight qualified hardware,” Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of Sierra Nevada Space Systems, said in a prepared statement. “The addition of ORBITEC’s high performance Vortex liquid rocket engines to SNC’s flight-proven hybrid rocket motor products allows SNC to provide a complete range of propulsion solutions for our customers.”

Warren Ferster is the Editor-in-Chief of SpaceNews and is responsible for all the news and editorial coverage in the weekly newspaper, the spacenews.com Web site and variety of specialty publications such as show dailies. He manages a staff of seven reporters...