SNC Unveils Dream Chaser Spacecraft Science Mission Variant

Dream Chaser science mission mock-up (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)
Dream Chaser science mission mock-up (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev. (Oct. 23, 2014) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems presents the Dream Chaser Science Mission Mock-Up at the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) conference in Pasadena, California, through Oct. 26. In addition to the primary function of transporting crew and cargo to and from low-Earth orbit (LEO), SNC’s Dream Chaser® program team has been developing a science mission variant which leverages the inherent capabilities of the vehicle to offer a free-flying microgravity science laboratory.

The Dream Chaser for Science, or DC4Science, spacecraft is designed to fly independently for short and extended durations to provide customers in such fields as biotech and pharmaceuticals, biology and life science, and material and fluid science with a flexible and evolvable vehicle easily suited for individual mission requirements.

“By utilizing Dream Chaser as an orbiting scientific laboratory, our customers can fly tailored missions to meet their distinct needs. Our unique spacecraft offers customers the option for crewed, uncrewed, or telepresence flights, enabling scientists to have complete control of their own payloads – critical for research and development. Customers will maintain scientific intellectual property rights, free from Federal Research Laboratory regulations that govern the International Space Station,” said John Roth, vice president of business development for SNC’s Space Systems. “By allowing customers to be involved from mission definition through mission operation, and providing immediate access to science payloads at a customer-selected landing site, the Dream Chaser offers the scope and flexibility to enhance and enable microgravity science. Our DC4Science mission capability is designed to change the paradigm of orbital microgravity science.”

A full-scale section of the Dream Chaser cabin will be on display at the ASGSR conference, illustrating one of many interior volume configuration options for customers. SNC’s partners in this exhibit include Teledyne Brown Engineering, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, BioServe Space Technologies and ORBITEC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SNC. Each partner has provided flight-heritage or flight-like demonstration payloads for the mock-up so that ASGSR attendees are able to interact with the demonstration and discuss the scope of microgravity science missions available on the Dream Chaser science mission variant. After the conference, the mock-up will return to SNC’s Space Systems based in Louisville, Colorado, for future integration testing and display.

SNC’s Dream Chaser is a multi-mission space utility vehicle spacecraft.  It is the only reusable, lifting-body spacecraft with a commercial runway landing capability anywhere in the world. The space system is on the forefront of the commercial spaceflight industry, offering safe, reliable and cost-effective crew and critical cargo transportation to LEO destinations.

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 www.sncspace.com and follow us at Facebook.com/SNCSpaceSystems and Twitter @SNCspacesystems.