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Inside Sierra Nevada Corp’s space plans, from the reusable ‘Dream Chaser’ to inflatable habitats

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  • Private contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) invested heavily in its space systems division, especially as it sees NASA and other companies building infrastructure in orbit.
  • The crown jewel of SNC’s space portfolio is Dream Chaser: A reusable spacecraft that is built to launch atop a traditional rocket and land on a runway like an airplane.
  • “We view the Dream Chaser as something that eventually in low Earth orbit will be providing transportation, logistics and crew for everybody,” Steve Lindsey, SNC’s senior vice president of strategy space systems, told CNBC.



a satellite in space: An animation shows Dream Chaser and its Shooting Star cargo module in orbit around the Earth.


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An animation shows Dream Chaser and its Shooting Star cargo module in orbit around the Earth.

Sierra Nevada Corporation is best known as a private aerospace and national security contractor – but the company is investing heavily in its space systems division, especially as it sees NASA and other companies building infrastructure in orbit.

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“Our view of the future is a vibrant, commercial low Earth orbit economy,” Steve Lindsey, SNC’s senior vice president of strategy space systems, told CNBC. “We want to be the logistics and crew providers in that future, so we’re really playing the long game.”

While SNC to date has been involved in hundreds of exploration missions and more, the crown jewel of its space portfolio is Dream Chaser: A reusable spacecraft that, in appearance resembling a miniaturized NASA Space Shuttle, is built to launch atop a traditional rocket and land on a runway like an airplane.

“We view the Dream Chaser as something that eventually in low Earth orbit will be providing transportation, logistics and crew for everybody,” Lindsey said.

Dream Chaser gets ready to launch



a fighter jet sitting on top of a runway: Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser.


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Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser.

In the coming year or so ahead, SNC is focused on Dream Chaser’s first launch. The