DLR Renews Cooperation with SNC on Dream Chaser

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PARIS — The German Space Center, DLR, and Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) have renewed for another two years their cooperation on SNC’s Dream Chaser lifting-body spacecraft to focus on both crewed and uncrewed mission applications.

The agreement, which stretches through 2017, follows a 2013 no-exchange-of-funds arrangement in which DLR, which is Germany’s space agency, and Sparks, Nevada-based SNC investigated possible European contributions to the Dream Chaser. OHB SE of Bremen, Germany, was part of the original study called Dream Chaser for European Utilization.

Johann-Dietrich Woerner
Johann-Dietrich Woerner. Credit: ESA/P. Sebirot

The European Space Agency had a similar agreement with SNC that lasted for a year starting in early 2014.

The new SNC-DLR agreement was signed April 16 during the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“We recognize the significant value of the Dream Chaser, especially for [low Earth orbit] and we look forward to working together for new applications,” DLR Executive Chairman Johann-Dietrich Woerner said in a statement after the agreement. “The versatility of the Dream Chaser — crewed or uncrewed — allows for multiple applications such as transportation of cargo and humans as well as director use for activities such as removing space debris.”

Woerner in July will become director-general of the European Space Agency.