Sierra Nevada Space Systems Adds Key Former Nasa Leaders to Its Dream Chaser Orbital Space Vehicle Team

SNC ISS_DC_DOCKING.JPGLouisville, CO – July 5, 2011 – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems announces the augmentation of its Dream Chaser Orbital Space Transportation Vehicle team through the addition of several former NASA veteran human spaceflight experts. 

Mark Sirangelo, head of Sierra Nevada Space Systems, in announcing the expansion of the team said, “SNC is seeking to develop a strong partnership with NASA.  Our Dream Chaser vehicle was born at NASA before we took on its development.  Now by adding these highly experienced former NASA people to the SNC Dream Chaser program we can blend the best of both the NASA heritage method of vehicle development alongside the best of industry practices.  The depth of human spaceflight expertise from these former NASA leaders is already directly contributing to SNC’s rapid success in developing the Dream Chaser spacecraft for transport of crews to the International Space Station.”

The newest member of the Dream Chaser management team is astronaut Steven Lindsey who will be joining the SNC Dream Chaser team in July as Director of Flight Operations.  Steve is the former Chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office, which he ran for four years and is a veteran of four Space Shuttle missions, most recently commanding Space Shuttle mission STS-133.  In his new role at SNC, Steve will be responsible for activities related to flight testing, flight operations, and crew training.  Steve joins a select group of other former NASA personnel who have joined the Dream Chaser team, bringing to SNC extensive human spaceflight experience in the area of operations, safety, design, development, systems integration, and programmatics.

Other former NASA personnel that joined recently or are already part of the Dream Chaser management team include:

Former astronaut Jim Voss, a veteran astronaut who flew on five Space Shuttle missions and the Russian Soyuz, and served as a crew member on the International Space Station during Expedition 2.  Jim is the SNC Vice President of Space Exploration Systems and is the program executive for the Dream Chaser Program. 

Commenting on the addition of Lindsey to the Dream Chaser team, Jim said, “I am very pleased that Steve has chosen to bring his vast human spaceflight experience to help us build a safe, reliable, and cost effective human spacecraft for our Nation.  Steve joins a talented group with broad experience base that includes expertise on multiple NASA and partner spacecraft and launch vehicles including the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, Orion, Soyuz, Mir, X-38, Progress, ATV, H-II Transfer Vehicle, Ares, and the Atlas V.”

Dr. Merri Sanchez, Senior Director of Space Exploration Systems.  Merri was a senior NASA executive, most recently serving as the NASA Liaison to the US Air Force Space Command, with experience as an Increment Manager in the International Space Station Program, serving as the Deputy Program Manager for X-38, and supporting the Shuttle Program in the Flight Crew Operations Directorate.

John Curry, Director of Systems Integration, Test, and Operations.  John most recently was the Chief of the Constellation Systems Engineering and Integration Office.  He also managed the Orion Vehicle Integration and Design Office and was a Space Shuttle and International Space Station Flight Director.

John Turner, Safety and Mission Assurance Manager.  John was the Constellation Program Risk Manager and the Shuttle Program Risk Manager and brings SNC strong experience in safety and risk management.

Jeffrey Davis, Avionics Integrated Product Team (IPT) Lead.  Jeff most recently was the Lead Systems Engineer for the Constellation EVA Systems Project and brings Avionics, Guidance Navigation and Control, and Extravehicular Activity experience to the team.

Molly Meyer-Allyn, Environmental Control and Life Support/Thermal Control IPT Lead.  Molly most recently was a Branch Chief in the JSC Mission Operations Directorate and brings both Shuttle and ISS Power, Thermal Control, Flight Control, and Guidance Navigation and Control experience to the team. 

Kevin Clinton, Launch Vehicle Integration IPT Lead.  Kevin most recently worked with the Kennedy Space Center Launch Services Program and brings experience in multiple launch vehicle and range processes that will support Dream Chaser integration onto the Atlas V launch vehicle.

Stokes McMillan, Simulation Manager.  Stokes has a long history at JSC including working in various capacities in the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office, Space Shuttle Program, Crew Exploration Vehicle Project, X-38 Project, and as a Shuttle Simulation Supervisor for crew training.

About The Dream Chaser

The Dream Chaser is a lifting body spacecraft based on former NASA design, the HL-20 crew vehicle, and carries with it a strong development heritage.  It will launch on an existing launch vehicle and will have on-board propulsion utilizing SNC’s proprietary hybrid rocket motor technology.  The Dream Chaser, which is now under full production, is a piloted or autonomous spacecraft which provides safe, reliable, and cost effective transport of up to seven crew members or a combination of people and cargo to low earth orbit and returning them safely to the Earth without excessive deceleration or landing forces.  Risk to deconditioned crew and delicate science experiment return samples is minimized through a low G landing on a runway.  The combination of NASA heritage and proven technology will enable SNC’s unique space transportation system to effectively and reliably carry crew and cargo to orbital destinations. 

About Sierra Nevada Corporation

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is one of America’s fastest growing private companies based on its significant expansion and reputation for rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, aerospace, avionics, space, propulsion, micro-satellite, aircraft, communications systems and solar energy. Under the leadership of CEO Fatih Ozmen and President and CFO Eren Ozmen, SNC employs over 2100 people in 31 locations in 16 states.  SNC’s seven unique business areas are dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to SNC’s dynamic customer base.

SNC is also the Top Woman-Owned Federal Contractor in the United States. Over the last 30 years under the Ozmen’s leadership, SNC has remained focused on providing its customers the very best in diversified technologies to meet their needs and has a strong and proven track record of success. The company continues to focus its growth on the commercial sector through internal advancements and outside acquisitions, including the emerging markets of renewable energy, telemedicine, nanotechnology, cyber and net-centric operations. For more information on SNC visit

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