Sierra Nevada Keeps Expanding Dream Chaser Team

Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)
Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., Aug. 6, 2014 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser® Space System, a reusable commercial orbital transportation system, is progressing through its flight test program and critical design review. As SNC’s Dream Chaser program enters its next phase, SNC is pleased to announce its expanded Dream Chaser – Dream Team – which includes prominent heritage aerospace industry members, small and disadvantaged businesses, as well as university and international space agency partners. Between these additional organizations and its long-term members, SNC continues to build one of the most competent and capable space industry program teams in the world. The growing employment scope and economic impact of the Dream Chaser program now involves 32 states and over 50 congressional districts and is expected to continue to expand as the program matures.

The Dream Chaser Dream Team consists of vital aerospace industry members, which have or are providing key support over the life of the program including such distinguished companies as Lockheed Martin, United Launch Alliance, Draper Laboratory, Aerojet Rocketdyne, MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Ltd. (MDA), UTC Aerospace Systems, Jacobs, Moog Broad Reach, Siemens PLM Software, Southwest Research Institute, and many others. SNC was built on the premise of creating strong partnership opportunities. As a majority women-owned company, SNC is proud that the Dream Team also includes a number of companies categorized as small and disadvantaged businesses that have or are supporting the program such as Craig Technologies, David Clark Company, Special Aerospace Services, AdamWorks, and Artic Slope Research Corporation.

SNC also is creating significant opportunities for the next generation of aerospace professionals by working cooperatively with nine U.S. universities, including the University of Colorado Boulder, University of Maryland – College Park, Rice Space Institute, Tuskegee University, and Utah State University. SNC conducts key primary research and testing at these prestigious educational centers. The company also recruits interns and young professionals to actively engage the next generation in practical work in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. The goal of these recruiting efforts is to harness the most innovative minds across the country for the Dream Chaser program.

In addition, SNC’s reimbursable space act agreements allow the Dream Team to work with the talented personnel at nine NASA Centers and facilities. SNC agreements are currently in place with the following NASA Centers: Ames Research Center in California, Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, Glenn Research Center in Ohio, Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, Johnson Space Center in Texas, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Langley Research Center in Virginia and Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama including the Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana. The company has also used the landing facilities at Edwards Air Force Base and is actively negotiating launch and landing agreements with Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

SNC has established cooperative agreements with the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and most recently, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA.) These agencies collectively represent 21 spacefaring countries with a heritage of success that includes hundreds of missions and adds significantly to the Dream Chaser program, both in terms of opportunity and sustainability.  SNC and these agencies will cooperate to explore potential low-Earth orbit missions and in doing so will follow the very successful model of global cooperation set by the International Space Station (ISS).  The ISS brings together international flight crews, launch vehicles and launch operations, training, engineering, research and a vibrant international scientific research community.

“We are enormously fortunate to have forged a Dream Team with the best of U.S. industry, universities, international agencies and global companies to be engaged on our Dream Chaser program,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems. “At SNC, our goal has been to create a Dream Chaser program that includes the leading organizations from across the United States and internationally brought together for the successful future of low-Earth orbit transportation and human space travel. This combined Dream Team is poised to provide safe, affordable, and sustained orbital transportation to enable discovery, development, and dynamic opportunities for the long-term in space.”

SNC is working with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program under an existing space act agreement to develop a safe, innovative, modern, flexible and highly-capable commercial transportation system for the 21st Century. Once developed, Dream Chaser will provide the only reusable, human-rated lifting-body spacecraft with a commercial runway landing capability, anywhere in the world, and is on the forefront of the commercial human spaceflight industry, offering safe, reliable and cost-effective crew and critical cargo transportation to low-Earth orbit.

A complete list of the Dream Team organizations is listed below.

SNC’s Space Systems Dream Chaser® Dream Team List

United States

  • AdamWorks
  • Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Airborne Systems
  • Arctic Slope Research Corporation
  • BioServe Space Technologies
  • Cobham/Carleton Technologies Inc
  • Craig Technologies
  • David Clark Company
  • Draper Laboratory
  • Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense
  • Erickson Air Crane
  • ESI
  • Houston Spaceport
  • Ingenium
  • Jacobs
  • Keystone Engineering
  • Kord Technologies
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Moog Broad Reach
  • Orbital Technologies Corporation (Orbitec)
  • San Diego Composites
  • SGT, Inc.
  • Siemens PLM Software
  • Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)
  • Space Florida
  • Special Aerospace Services
  • Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc.
  • Triumph Aerospace Systems
  • United Launch Alliance (ULA)
  • UTC Aerospace Systems
  • Valcor Engineering Corp
  • Wendell Hull & Associates

NASA Centers (Reimbursable Space Act Agreements)

  • Ames Research Center
  • Armstrong Flight Research Center
  • Glenn Research Center
  • Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Johnson Space Center
  • Kennedy Space Center
  • Langley Research Center and NESC
  • Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Michoud Assembly Facility


  • Rice Space Institute
  • The Georgia Institute of Technology
  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • Texas A&M University
  • Tuskegee University
  • University of Alabama Birmingham
  • University of Colorado Boulder and BioServe Space Technologies
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • Utah State University


  • AIRBUS Defense & Space
  • CGS S.p.A.
  • European Space Agency
  • German Aerospace Center
  • Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
  • MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA)
  • OHB Systems AG
  • QinetiQ
  • RUAG Space
  • Space Applications Services

About Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems business area based in Louisville, Colorado, designs and manufactures advanced spacecraft, space vehicles, rocket motors and spacecraft subsystems and components for the U.S. Government, commercial customers as well as for the international market.  SNC’s Space Systems has more than 25 years of space heritage and has participated in over 400 successful space missions through the delivery of over 4,000 systems, subsystems and components.  During its history, SNC’s Space Systems has concluded over 70 programs for NASA and over 50 other clients. For more information about SNC’s Space Systems visit and follow us at

  • dbooker

    So instead of designing an innovative spaceship in the most efficient way they took the pseudo government approach and spread the cost across the most states so that they have 64 senators and 50 congressman touting the jobs that they would create and that it SNC has to get the selection from NASA. We can throw billions into it and maybe in ten years it will fly without crashing. Andwe can change the name to the “Orion Shuttle”.

  • newpapyrus

    The Dream Chaser will be a reusable space plane capable of landing at practically any commercial airport in the world. The fact that it creates jobs all over the US at a time when the American people need jobs– is a good thing.


  • Wayne Martin

    This simply just sickens me beyond belief!

    “50 Congressional Districts”

    Look… I really like the concept of Dream Chaser but Good God are they literally going to turn it into into a mini Shuttle in evety sense?

    Sierra is talking about 3 maybe 4 vehicles at most and so now what… they want sell it as PORK?

    I would like to see the creation of jobs but Not at the cost of turning affordable access to space and innovation on it’s head?

    It appears that Sierra is trying to sell their vehicle to the bought and paid for entrenched likes of Shelby!

    Lockeed is building it and the Atlas V is flying it…

    So Very Sad indeed!

  • Hug Doug

    think of it as Sierra Nevada has a very broad base of support for Dream Chaser. they have international partnerships, too.

  • mattmcc80

    Distributing construction of a single vehicle across most of the country is good politics, but terrible economics. It results in more overhead, requires more layers of management, more points of failure, all resulting in more expense.

  • Wayne Martin

    I would be very intersted in the cost of Sierra’s services…

    It’s one thing to have support but it’s an entirely different thing to sell something no one is willing to pay for!

    Hence affordable access as well as innovation ; )

  • BeanCounterFromDownUnder

    It does look like they’re following an ‘oldspace’ model and not taking notice of what SpaceX has done.
    Oh well, guess time will tell but on the face of it, just administering all these partnerships is going to add to the cost of the final product. Hope they don’t price themselves out of the market and it’s primarily a commercial and not government market.

  • mzungu

    I always wonder what qualifies ya being part of “The Team”? Do McMaster-Carr or Grainger qualifies, if there is a piece of duck-tape that were bought from them.

  • therealdmt

    Going forward, it might be simpler to assess the situation by instead listing who’s NOT on their team.


  • justchaz

    I see Lockheed Martin has been teaching SNC how to make an F35 boondoggle out of this Dream Chaser project. That $180 billion over budget F35 congressional districts roping scheme was just the model SNC apparently needed. This from the same guys who over promised on their RM2 motor for SS2. Sell a dream but chase the cash faster. Sigh.

  • Aerospike

    I used to have a soft spot for SNC / Dream Chaser as the “underdog” in the whole CCDev (I won’t bother figuring out the current acronym) program.

    Not anymore, sigh.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    One hopes that when it comes time to put up a price per launch/mission or price per seat, the truth will have to come out.

    And after all, it doesn’t even land like a 21st century spacecraft should.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    Well Sirangelo always reminds me of a used car salesman.

  • windbourne

    This is why I want to see spacex win CCtCAP. If they win it, then the GOP will reverse their action to whittle down to 1. IOW, we are likely to see enough funding for all 3.

  • windbourne

    Yup. That approach is working great for airbus to compete against spacex. And it really helped lower the cost of the shuttle against all of them.

  • delphinus100

    However, their pockets are not as deep as Elon’s are. He can go it completely alone, if he must. Besides, as reported here, some of SNC’s support is coming from outside the US (Germany and Japan)…

  • delphinus100

    Does anyone *not* competing for government support go out of their way to do this…?

    Yes, other companies may have facilities in multiple locations, but normally only if it makes business sense to do so.

  • windbourne

    Elon’s are NOT that deep.
    What is keeping SpaceX going were the down payments, along with investments from his friends.

    SNC has MUCH deeper pockets than you can possibly believe.

  • BeanCounterFromDownUnder

    Agreed. In addition, SN had alternative companies available wrt carbon fibre construction but they chose an oldspace organisation.

  • Chris Prophet

    This article is a great demonstration of how practical SNC is about surviving into final round of Commercial Crew Program (CCtCap). ULA (Boeing + Lockheed) could turn their commercial and political guns on SNC and blow them out of the water, leaving them little to no chance for future Nasa funding via CCtCap. However, if they did, Lockheed would lose a potential customer. Boeing probably wants to see SNC crash and burn leaving them as the second pick for CCtCap (after SpaceX) but Lockheed are all the time holding them back from bringing out the big guns. Makes sense for ULA to back Boeing’s CST-100 and SNC’s Dream Chaser – it hedges the bets if one doesn’t beat the cut for CCtCap. Can’t fault SNC’s ground game – divide and conquer!

  • windbourne

    If SpaceX wins the next round of funding, there is NO DOUBT that the house GOP will scream murder over it, and will then work to restore FULL FUNDING for the other 2.

    Hopefully, Bolden makes use of this, awards SpaceX, and then fights with the house GOP to not only get funding for the other 2, BUT also Bigelow.

    We need not only 2-3 companies that launch humans, but multiple destinations. ISS is good, but 1 human launch every 3-6 months will not keep these companies going.
    OTOH, if BA is helped out, to get going before the end of 2016, then 3 companies can service both the ISS and the BA alpha.