Sierra Nevada Corporation adds Siemens PLM to Dream Chaser Dream Team
Space Shuttle replacement front runner adopts NX CAD suite for Dream Chaser design.
Since long before the retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, NASA has been eager to find a replacement craft for transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station and other missions. While Russia’s space agency has filled the gap, the costs associated with piggybacking on Roscosmos’ launch vehicles has skyrocketed. Add to that the mounting tension between U.S. and Russia, and NASA’s need to return to self-sufficiency has become paramount.
Presently three contenders are vying to deliver that replacement vehicle. One of them, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), says it is approximately two years away from performing the first orbital test flight of its Dream Chaser vehicle. Similar in appearance the Space Shuttle, the new lifting-body spaceplane features low-g re-entry, non-toxic propulsion systems and room for seven crew plus critical cargo space.
Last week, SNC’s Space Systems announced that Siemens PLM Software has officially joined the company’s Dream Chaser ”Dream Team”. The new designation is a recognition of Siemens PLM Software’s long standing relationship with SNC; the engineering software division has been supporting SNC’s Space Systems’ product lines, including the Dream Chaser spacecraft program, for over a decade.
“With the continual expansion of our Dream Team, it is critical to maintain efficient collaboration between our various partners,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate VP of SNC’s Space Systems. “As a global leader in software technology, Siemens is joining our Dream Chaser team of world-class partners and organizations to support spacecraft development between the various members both in the U.S. and internationally, further improving quality, efficiency, and affordability.”
Siemens’ role on the Dream Chaser program has evolved from its years of work with SNC’s Spacecraft product line. The expanded use of advanced engineering software tools has strengthened the SNC and Siemens alliance, which will also help facilitate the international expansion of the Dream Team. The use of Siemens’ software technology will facilitate global vehicle development and the servicing of additional customer markets for the Dream Chaser spacecraft.