NASA Space Act Agreement Opens KSC to Sierra Nevada

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Sierra Nevada Space Systems, an aspiring provider of commercial astronaut transport services, on July 7 inked a new Space Act Agreement with NASA to use Kennedy Space Center (KSC) infrastructure and personnel to support development of the Sparks, Nev.-based company’s Dream Chaser space plane.

Dream Chaser is one of the spacecraft in the running to transport astronauts to and from the international space station in the years ahead.

Sierra Nevada was awarded an $80 million NASA Space Act Agreement in April under the second round of the agency’s Commercial Crew Development program.

“Sierra Nevada’s agreements with Kennedy and other NASA centers demonstrate its commitment to using the full resources of NASA as the agency facilitates commercial cargo and crew capabilities to the International Space Station,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a July 7 statement.

Other commercial providers, such as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Orbital Sciences Corp., have similar agreements with NASA to use agency infrastructure and personnel across the country to help develop and test the hardware these companies want to use to ship cargo and crew to the international space station.