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#SierraSpaceHistory

A Leading Commercial

Space Company

With 30+ years of space flight heritage, Sierra Space has built more than 4,000 space systems, subsystems and components for more than 500 missions, including 14 missions to Mars.

June 21, 2022

Sierra Space MOU Spaceport America

Sierra Space and Spaceport America sign an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to add the world-class New Mexico spaceport to Sierra Space’s portfolio of potential global landing sites for its Dream Chaser® spaceplane.

June 21, 2022

April 5, 2022

Orbital Reef

Orbital Reef, led by Sierra Space and Blue Origin completed its Systems Requirements Review (SRR), an important milestone baselining requirements for the program. The review assessed Orbital Reef’s ability to meet safety and mission requirements and evaluated the technical readiness of the design, the concept of operations, the feasibility of project development plans, and planned verification activities.

Lunar Terrain Vehicle

Sierra Space partners with Teledyne Brown Engineering and Nissan North America, to design a crewed Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) that will support future exploration on the moon.

April 5, 2022

February 19, 2022

XROOTS Sierra Space's eXposed Root On-Orbit Test System (XROOTS) launched aboard a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket on the Cygnus NG-17 cargo resupply mission to the ISS from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. XROOTS uses aeroponic and hydroponic techniques to grow plants without soil or other growth media. The technology was integrated with the Veggie hardware currently aboard the ISS to study the development of large scale crop systems in space.February 19, 2022

January 2022

Raja Chari

On January 26, 2022, NASA astronaut and Expedition 66 Flight Engineer Raja Chari worked inside the Life Science Glovebox and displayed cotton cells growing on a petri dish for the Plant Habitat-05 space botany study. The experiment used the microgravity environment to observe the genetic architecture of plant regeneration.

Credit: NASA

January 2022

November 2021

Thomas Marshburn

Karl Hasenstein, the principal investigator for the Plant Habitat-02, or PH-02, planted radish seeds in seed carriers for the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) in the Space Life Sciences Lab at Kennedy Space Center on Sept. 23, 2020. The carriers flew aboard Northrop Grumman’s 14th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA

November 2021

May 2021

Dr. Simon GilroyInside a laboratory in the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 28, 2021, Dr. Simon Gilroy, principal investigator, holds one of several Target Veggie Chambers containing a nutrient gel so that cotton seeds can be planted in them as part of the Targeting Improved Cotton Through Orbital Cultivation (TICTOC) experiment. TICTOC will investigate how environmental factors and genes control development of roots in the absence of gravity.

Credit: NASA

May 2021

September 2020

Karl Hasenstein

Karl Hasenstein, the principal investigator for the Plant Habitat-02, or PH-02, planted radish seeds in seed carriers for the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) in the Space Life Sciences Lab at Kennedy Space Center on Sept. 23, 2020. The carriers flew aboard Northrop Grumman’s 14th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA

September 2020

June 2020

Space Station Processing FacilityInside the low bay of the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, workers assisted as Dream Chaser pressure test article on its support structure was lowered by crane on June 3, 2020, for its move into the high bay. The test article was shipped from Louisville, Colorado. It is similar to the actual pressurized cabin being used in the Dream Chaser spaceplane for Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) missions. NASA selected Dream Chaser to provide cargo delivery, return and disposal service for the International Space Station under the CRS-2 contract. Credit: NASAJune 2020

September 2019

Jess Bunchek

Jess Bunchek, an associate scientist at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, harvested plant cultivars inside the Veggie growth chamber in the Space Station Processing Facility on Sept. 30, 2019, for a science verification test (SVT). This SVT will studied the potential of three plants – amara mustard, ‘outredgeous’ red romaine lettuce and shungiku, an Asian green comparable to an edible chrysanthemum – to grow in space. All three lettuce plants were grown from seed film, making this the first SVT with this new plant growth material.

Credit: NASA

September 2019

August 2019

cargo logistics module

The cargo logistics module for Dream Chaser, was photographed inside the Space Station Processing Facility high bay at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida following its arrival on Aug. 27, 2019. The cargo module – a 15-foot attachment to Dream Chaser – provides extra storage for payloads and provides cargo disposal upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

Credit: NASA

August 2019

March 2018

Advanced Plant Habitat (APH)

The first growth test of crops in the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) aboard the International Space Station in March 2018 yielded great results. Arabidopsis seeds – small flowering plants related to cabbage and mustard – grew for about six weeks and the dwarf wheat for five weeks.

Credit: NASA

March 2018

2017

Dream Chaser removed from delivery truck

Dream Chaser was removed from its delivery truck in 2017, after arriving at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, located on Edwards Air Force Base. The spaceplane underwent several months of testing in preparation for its approach and landing flight on the base’s 22L runway.

Credit: NASA

 

2017

November 2017

 

Dream Chaser lifted by helicopter

Dream Chaser was lifted by helicopter from the ramp at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, before its successful approach and landing flight test.

Edwards Air Force Base runway

Dream Chaser successfully landed on an Edwards Air Force Base runway on Nov. 11, 2017, after being lifted from the ramp at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.

 

tow back to NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center
After successfully landing, Dream Chaser was prepared for its tow back to NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.

Credit: NASA

November 2017

May 2017

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson poses with cabbage plants in the Vegetable Production System (Veggie) bellows in the Harmony Node 2. Image was taken during final harvesting operations (OPS) for the Veg-03 experiment.

Credit: NASA

May 2017

February 2017

Charles Spern

Charles Spern, at right, project manager on the Engineering Services Contract (ESC), and Glenn Washington, ESC quality assurance specialist, performed final inspections of the Veggie Series 1 plant experiment inside a laboratory in the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Credit: NASA

February 2017

December 2016

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough during VEG-03 harvest and stow of Red Romaine lettuce, in the Columbus Module. Veg-03 used the Veggie plant growth facility to cultivate a type of cabbage, which was harvested in orbit with samples returned to Earth for testing.

Credit: NASA

December 2016

2015

Flight controllers in the International Space Station Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center
Flight controllers in the International Space Station Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center monitored systems aboard the orbiting laboratory during a number of dynamic events for Expedition 44. Screens in the front of the room showed the camera view of NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren harvesting lettuce from the Veggie experiment that would become the first food grown in space to be eaten.

Credit: NASA

2015

July 2015

Astronaut Scott Kelly and Astronaut Kjell Lindgren

 

Astronaut Scott Kelly initiated VEG-01 B, the second crop of lettuce, on July, 8, 2015, and both Kelly and Astronaut Kjell Lindgren cared for the plants. The crop grew for 33 days. VEG-01 B included one set of six plant pillows planted with red romaine lettuce seeds.

On Aug. 10, 2015, the crew harvested and consumed leaves from each plant. This was the first crop grown and consumed in space. They harvested the rest of the plant tissue and froze it in the station’s Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) for return to Earth for further study including microbial analysis, antioxidant capacity, mineral analysis and anthocyanin concentration.

Credit: NASA

July 2015

2014

2014
In 2014, NASA technician, Ricky Hall, worked inside the Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia to affix grains of sand to a precise scale model of the Dream Chaser spaceplane. The sand created turbulence at key points to simulate the conditions the real spacecraft would encounter during its return to Earth. The data gathered from the wind tunnel was used to further test the design through the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability agreement with NASA.

Credit: NASA

2014

2013

2013 Credit Nasa
A 10-inch long ceramic model of the Dream Chaser spaceplane was prepared for high-speed wind tunnel tests at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The tests measured how much heat the winged vehicle would experience during ascent and re-entry through the atmosphere, including the lower- and upper-body flaps, elevons and a rudder.

Dream Chaser towed at NSA's Dryden Flight Research Center

Team members towed the Dream Chaser flight vehicle out to a concrete runway at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California for range and taxi tow tests to validate the performance of the spaceplane's nose skid, brakes, tires and other systems prior to captive-carry and free-flight tests.

Credit: NASA

2013

August 2013

August 2013

Simulation technicians Brent Bieber, left, and Dennis Pitts installed a boilerplate Dream Chaser canopy structure over the cockpit of a flight simulator in the simulation laboratory at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California. The modification gave Dream Chaser pilot-astronauts a more representative view of the actual flight profiles the spacecraft would fly during piloted approach and landing tests.

 

60 mile per hour tow tests

A pickup truck pulled the Dream Chaser flight vehicle through 60 mile per hour tow tests on taxi and runways at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California in Aug. 2013. Ground testing at 10, 20, 40 and 60 miles per hour helped validate the performance of the spaceplane's braking and landing systems prior to captive-carry and free-flight tests scheduled later that year.

 

Flight controllers in the International Space Station Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center

Team members checked Dream Chaser’s flight vehicle systems following a 60 mph tow test on taxi and runways at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Credit: NASA

August 2013

May 2013

May 2013
NASA Langley aerospace engineer, Bruce Jackson, briefed astronauts Rex Walheim and Gregory Johnson about the Synthetic Vision (SV) and Enhanced Vision (EV) systems in a flight simulator at the center's Cockpit Motion Facility on May 15, 2013. The astronauts were training to land the Dream Chaser spaceplane.

Dream Chaser wings and tail structure on bed of Rogers Dry Lake

With its wings and tail structure removed and shrouded in plastic wrap for ground transport, the Dream Chaser engineering test article is hauled across the bed of Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in May 2013. After, Dream Chaser began its approach-and-landing flight test program in collaboration with NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Credit: NASA

May 2013