April 15, 2021: -Privately held Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is all set to create Sierra Space, a commercial space company with a portfolio including, among other things, a reusable space plane and a retail space station.
Sparks, Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corporation, is wholly owned by husband-and-wife team Fatih and Eren Ozmen, Turkish immigrants-turned-billionaires. They built once-struggling SNC into a multibillion-dollar defense and national security contractor.
The Ozmen vision shows space transportation, destinations, and infrastructure, which includes low earth orbit as the opening to commercialization. “We envision a vibrant low-Earth orbit economy with fleets of Dream Chaser spaceplanes, a commercial space station, expandable LIFE habitats which can travel to the moon and Mars, and critical infrastructure such as power generation, propulsion, and environmental systems,” the internal email states.
Sierra Space will have a Dream Chaser space plane that’s currently under development which can be reusable; It was designed in part after the Space Shuttle, land on any airport runway in the world supporting a Boeing 737 aircraft.
Dream Chaser, which was designed to carry people and goods, is contracted with NASA to have six cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station by 2024. Its maiden flight for NASA is expected in the coming year. Recently, SNC unveiled its commercial space station, a free-flying prototype for which testing will soon begin at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
The station is full of inflatable LIFE habitats that the company designed for long-time staying in space. It is expected to compete for NASA funding in the agency’s Commercial LEO Destinations project.
Tuesday’s internal email said that the SNC workforce would learn more about the steps being taken to transition the space business in the coming months. It might even take several months for the new Sierra Space company to be operating independently truly.