The company said it completed a third integration review on its Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract with NASA, confirming that the company’s Dream Chaser vehicle can meet NASA requirements for transporting cargo to and from the space station.
Sierra Nevada won one of three CRS-2 contracts last year for services scheduled to begin in late 2019.
The company is currently developing Dream Chaser, with a flight test article undergoing tests at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center that will include glide tests later this year. [Sierra Nevada Corp.]
The company not selected by United Launch Alliance to provide the engine for its Vulcan rocket will likely lose Air Force funding. The Air Force is providing funding to support the development of both Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 and Blue Origin’s BE-4, the latter through a partnership with ULA. Both engines are in the running to be used on the Vulcan’s first stage. Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, director of space programs for the Air Force’s acquisition office, said that once ULA selects one of those engines, the Air Force is unlikely to provide additional funding for the other engine. Teague said his interest is in developing a launch service capability, not an engine that may not be used. [SpaceNews]
The next launch of Iridium satellites will take place a little earlier than previously planned. Iridium announced Thursday that the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch of its second batch of 10 Iridium Next satellites is now scheduled for June 25 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, four days earlier than previously announced. The company said a “new range availability” at Vandenberg allowed the launch to be moved up. That launch was once scheduled for April, but postponed to June because of SpaceX’s backlog of other launches. [SpaceNews]