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[i]Sparks, Nev.-based Sierra Nevada Corp. was the big winner in NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) competition, receiving $20 million of the $50 million in economic stimulus money meant to seed development of commercial crew transportation services.[/i]
[i]Sierra Nevada Corp. has $20 million in federal stimulus funds for its Dream Chaser commercial crew launch vehicle, but the company has already applied many times that amount in NASA funding for its high-stakes effort to build a private route to space for the agency’s astronauts.
The Colorado-based company is modeling Dream Chaser on the HL-20 lifting-body vehicle that NASA started as a potential International Space Station (ISS) crew rescue vehicle, which would have been able to transport a full station crew fleeing an emergency to a horizontal landing on runways anywhere in the world.
Now Sierra Nevada wants to use the HL-20s lifting-body shape to go in the other direction, riding an Atlas V rocket to orbit with an up to seven-person crew for the ISS, or with space-suited specialists trained to service other spacecraft in orbit. Because it was publicly funded, data from NASA’s HL-20 development effort is publicly available.[/i]
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