Has NASA Decided to Continue Funding Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser?

Dream Chaser cockpit simulator. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Sierra Nevada Corporation has ramped up the hiring process for its Dream Chaser program in advance of a scheduled NASA announcement of the next round of commercial crew funding. Dream Chaser is in the running for additional development funds.

The company held jobs fairs in Houston and Cocoa Beach, Florida last week specifically to recruit employees for Dream Chaser. The interesting aspects here are both the specificity of the recruitment (for Dream Chaser) and the timing. The press release announcing the recruitment sessions was distributed via PRNewswire on July 6, only four days before the event in Houston and six days before the one in Florida.

I also received a notice this evening via LinkedIn (my emphasis added):

SNC’s Louisville, Colorado office is currently accepting applications for exciting career opportunities! We are looking for Engineers, Technicians, and other qualified specialists to work on the Dream Chaser Space System. Visit our careers page to submit an online application and SNC will follow up with qualified candidates. If you are interested in becoming a part of our dynamic team visit http://careers.sncorp.com/career/index.asp to learn more about specific opportunities and apply online. Visit www.SNCspace.com for more information about SNC Space Systems.

NASA is expected to announce the new round of funding soon, with two programs receiving full awards and a third receiving half an award. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said several week ago that an announcement could be made in mid-July, which means it could come this week. However, NASA has not yet publicly set a date for the announcement.

Agreements between NASA and funded commercial crew companies are finalized in advance of the public announcement, which indicates the company might already have been notified and is seeking to fill positions that it will need to create.

On the other hand, this could be precautionary to ensure that if the company does receive an award, the human resources department is set to begin recruitment right away.