In a press conference today, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced an expanded collaboration to advance the planning and development of potential science research during future Dream Chaser spacecraft missions. Under a new annex to a current Space Act Agreement, Marshall’s Mission Operations Laboratory will provide technical expertise to SNC for planning the integration of scientific payloads on its Dream Chaser spacecraft under their Advanced Development program.
SNC’s Dream Chaser is a multi-mission-capable spacecraft designed for low-Earth orbit.
“We are glad to share the knowledge and expertise we’ve gained through our decades of experience with payload development for space shuttle missions and operating and maintaining science research on the International Space Station,” said Patrick Scheuermann, Marshall director. “We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation for more than two years and look forward to continued collaboration.”
Marshall engineers will provide SNC with recommendations on payload capability, best practices for ground processing of payloads, integration of in-space experimental science payloads with commercial space vehicles, and on-orbit operation of science payloads. Teledyne Brown Engineering will also provide support to SNC under a teaming agreement.
Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of SNC’s Space Systems said, “Today we are pleased to announce that SNC is increasing our presence in Alabama by expanding our relationship with the Marshall Space Flight Center and adding Teledyne Brown Engineering to our growing Dream Chaser team. Each of these organizations are experts in their respective fields and have already begun applying their invaluable knowledge and experience.”
“We are very pleased to team with Sierra Nevada in the development of the Dream Chaser,” said Rex D. Geveden, executive vice president, Teledyne Technologies Incorporated. “This is an exceptional opportunity to apply our capabilities in payload development and integration to an exciting new space transportation system.”
Marshall and SNC have partnered since December 2011 under a reimbursable Space Act Agreement. Previously, SNC sought out Marshall experts to provide wind tunnel testing for its Dream Chaser/United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch stack configuration in the center’s 14-square-inch trisonic wind tunnel. The data generated from the series of tests helped define the vehicle’s aerodynamic characteristics in flight.
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