KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL (May 4, 2012) – Today, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems announced interest in Florida as a possible location for commercial human spaceflight programs and facilities.
SNC’s winged orbital crew vehicle, the Dream Chaser®, is in development with plans to launch on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V vehicle from Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. In addition to launch operations, SNC is interested in exploring landing, vehicle processing and other capabilities within the state. Space Florida and State and Local Officials met with SNC leadership today to discuss the potential for basing expanded Commercial Crew operations in Florida.
SNC Space Systems, a Colorado-based designer and manufacturer of advanced spacecraft, space vehicles and spacecraft subsystems and components for commercial and government customers, was awarded two funded Space Act Agreements as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program in 2009 and 2011.
SNC is considering a number of U.S. locations for its expanding commercial crew operations and currently awaits details of possible State incentive packages to determine if Florida will be the selected location for future commercial space facilities.
“Florida has always been at the forefront of America’s spaceflight program,” said SNC Corporate Vice President and head of SNC’s Space Systems, Mark Sirangelo. “We want to continue the Shuttle’s legacy, working in partnership with NASA, to fly innovative, next-generation vehicles like the Dream Chaser. The Space Coast has a highly-experienced space workforce and launch experience that will be invaluable to us. We are working with Space Florida to implement our plans and our presence on the Space Coast.”
“Companies like Sierra Nevada Corporation are extremely important to Florida,” said Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll. “We will work with their leadership team closely to make it as beneficial as possible for them broaden their presence here – from launch to landing, engine manufacturing and much more.”
“Growth of innovative commercial aerospace companies like Sierra Nevada Corporation is the key to ensuring our state’s aerospace economy continues to thrive in the years to come,” noted Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “We look forward to continuing to work with Mr. Sirangelo and his team to expand their operations in Florida.”
“Sierra Nevada Corporation’s interest in the Space Coast further illustrates our capacity to build on our heritage launch capabilities, emerging as a premier spacecraft assembly and R&D location. We are pleased to be a part of the project team working with Space Florida and Sierra Nevada Corporation to demonstrate the advantages of expanding the company’s commercial crew operation on the Space Coast,” said Lynda Weatherman, president & CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.
About Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems: Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems business area headquartered in Louisville, Colorado, designs and manufactures advanced spacecraft, space vehicles, and spacecraft subsystems for commercial and government customers. Space Systems (SS) has more than 20 years heritage in space, successfully delivering over 400 subsystems for 300+ satellite missions. Current key programs include NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program where we are developing our Dream Chaser® 7 passenger vehicle to take astronauts to the International Space Station; the ORBCOMM Generation 2 program that includes production of 18-48 small satellites for a commercial asset tracking company; the SpaceShip2 program where we are developing a non-toxic “green” rocket engine for Virgin Galactic’s suborbital space vehicle to carry tourists to space; and the Modular Space Vehicle program for the DoD’s Operationally Responsive Space Office. For more information about SS visit www.sncspace.com.
About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s aerospace development organization, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed. www.spaceflorida.gov.
About the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast: The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is dedicated to attracting new business and investment and expanding existing industry throughout the Space Coast, influencing change on government laws and regulations affecting economic development, promoting the Space Coast to encourage new investment, supporting efforts of Space Coast military installations, and relaying new programs and procedures to assist manufacturing and high tech companies. The EDC is a private, not-for-profit coalition whose stakeholders are business leaders committed to the economic growth and stability of Florida’s Space Coast. Visit www.SpaceCoastEDC.org.
Sierra Nevada Corp.
Tina Lange, APR
EDC of Florida’s Space Coast