Sierra Nevada achieves second Commercial Cargo milestone
A couple of weeks after completing their first Integration Certification Review for NASA’s Commercial Cargo Program to support the International Space Station (ISS), Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has completed its second such review for the Dream Chaser spacecraft.
As a result of this second review milestone, NASA and SNC have agreed on the certification criteria used to confirm that the Dream Chaser design meets CRS-2 mission requirements. The qualification and verification plans delivered at this second milestone will be used to validate Dream Chaser during future integrated design and test milestones.
“Successful completion of the second Integration Certification Milestone within six weeks of the first major milestone demonstrates that the Dream Chaser team is moving at full-speed to meet NASA’s cargo delivery needs,” Steve Lindsey, senior director of programs for SNC’s Space Systems business area and Dream Chaser co-program manager, said in response to this progress. “We very much appreciate NASA’s help and support through this milestone and those to follow.”
The second milestone required SNC to demonstrate they thoroughly understood NASA’s design requirements and available resources on both a system and subsystem level.
“Our collective SNC/NASA team is confident in our design and strategy for the future and look forward to completing the work necessary to bring our unique cargo services solution to the ISS as rapidly as possible,” Lindsey said.
Dream Chaser is slated to provide at least six cargo delivery missions to the ISS between 2019 and 2024.
Meanwhile, SNC’s Engineering Test Article (ETA) continues to be upgraded for its next round of flight testing. As noted in a Spaceflight Insider interview with John Olson, vice president of SNC Space Systems, the new modifications to the ETA will support tests of the spacecraft’s performance on the ground as well as during final approach and landing. Ground and flight testing will be performed at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center starting late this year or in early 2017.
Bart Leahy is a freelance technical writer living in Orlando, Florida. Leahy's diverse career has included work for The Walt Disney Company, NASA, the Department of Defense, Nissan, a number of commercial space companies, small businesses, nonprofits, as well as the Science Cheerleaders.