SNC: “We’re Going To Bring The Sonic Booms Back To The Space Coast!”

In the near future, Florida's skies could see Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser space plane thunder to orbit atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V - and then return safely to Earth. The procedure would be reminiscent of NASA's space shuttle - and this would be a welcomed sight to residents along Florida's Space Coast. Photo Credit: Julian Leek/Blue Sawtooth Studios

COCOA BEACH, Fla — Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced today interest in developing the company’s Dream Chaser space plane in Florida. The NewSpace firm, along with State of Florida elected officials and other officials announced that the company is eyeing Florida as a potential site for operations – provided enough incentives are made available. The announcement was made at the Cocoa Beach Hilton. The conference began at 12:30 p.m. EDT and had numerous dignitaries in attendance.

Politicians including Florida’s Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll, Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) along with representatives from both Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Congressman Bill Posey’s office were at the event. It was a former astronaut however that brought the largest round of applause.

Representatives at Friday’s event included Space Florida President Frank DiBello, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Vice-President Mark Sirangelo and Astronaut, Director, Flight Operations Space Exploration Systems Steve Lindsey. Photo Credit: Julian Leek/Blue Sawtooth Studios

Astronaut Director Flight Operations Space Exploration Systems for SNC Steve Lindsey addressed those in attendance and during his remarks work to redress a loss that has affected many along Florida’s Space Coast.

“Stay tuned,” Lindsey said. “…we are going to bring a sonic boom back to your coast.”

With the end of the shuttle era, the U.S. human space flight spacecraft is reliant on Russia for access to orbit. At $63 million a seat on the Soyuz spacecraft, the current administration has placed the nation’s return on smaller, relatively new companies. The region has been reeling following the final shuttle mission with an unemployment rate around 10 percent (this number has trended as high as 15 percent) and with numerous companies and establishments going out of business. Seeing a reusable space plane launch and land – would be a welcome return to normalcy for the hard-hit area.

Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser would launch atop the reliable United Launch Alliance Atlas V. Image Credit: SNC

SNC is based out of Colorado and designs and manufactures both spacecraft – and space flight systems. NASA awarded the commercial space flight two funded Space Act Agreements as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDev) in 2009 and again in 2011.

Representatives from the firm acknowledged Florida’s long space flight history as well as the fact that there is a well-established aerospace infrastructure in the area.

“Florida has always been at the forefront of America’s spaceflight program,” said SNC Corporate Vice President and head of SNC’s Space Systems, Mark Sirangelo. “We want to continue the Shuttle’s legacy, working in partnership with NASA, to fly innovative, next-generation vehicles like the Dream Chaser. The Space Coast has a highly-experienced space workforce and launch experience that will be invaluable to us. We are working with Space Florida to implement our plans and our presence on the Space Coast.”

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One Comment

  1. Welcome news. I was a guest at the Kennedy Space Center as the layoffs were being implemented and stayed in Titusville during my stay. The depression at the Center and in the town was very visible. Titusville was already suffering seriously from the recession and the loss of the Shuttle Program was like a fist in the stomach. Why not invite the Russians and the Chinese to take over KSC, we seem to share everything else with them.

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