Sierra hiring to work on Dream Chaser
Design, engineering and assembly of the Dream Chaser is being done in Colorado, where Sierra Nevada expects "to increase employment significantly" in the coming days, said Mark Sirangelo, head of the division and corporate vice president of parent company Sierra Nevada Corp. in Sparks, Nevada.
Sierra Nevada also plans to hire people in Florida, where the human space flight vehicle is expected to launch from John F. Kennedy Space Center in 2016, Sirangelo said. "Hundreds of people" will be added to the program in the coming years in Colorado, Florida and at partner company locations around the country, Sirangelo said.
To date, Sierra Nevada has received $125 million from NASA for the Dream Chaser vehicle program. While the privately held company doesn't disclose exact figures, it has put another "more than half," into the project to date, Sirangelo said, or at least another $125 million.
Sierra Nevada Space Systems currently is readying the space vehicle for approach and landing tests at Edwards Air Force Base in California later this year. The Space Shuttle-looking space vehicle is planned to serve initially as a taxi for astronauts going to and from the International Space Station.
The vehicle successfully completed a "captive carry" flight test on Tuesday, May 29, along the Front Range. It is expected to be ready to transport crews to space as early as 2016, according to a Sierra Nevada press statement.
NASA's announcement comes in the form of a 21-month contract slated to start this month. The seven-person vehicle is currently the only one being developed in the commercial space industry that would be capable of landing on a runway when it returns to Earth from space.
Sierra Nevada Corp. is a privately held company based in Sparks, Nevada that employs more than 2,100 people in 16 states. The Louisville office has more than 180 employees, according to the Boulder County Business Report's most recent data.
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