Reliable, Commercially Developed Atlas V Chosen as Launch Vehicle
Centennial, Colo. (Aug. 3, 2012) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) congratulates its partner Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) on the selection for NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Contract (CCiCap).
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser® plans to use ULA’s reliable, commercially developed Atlas V as the launch vehicle.
“ULA’s launch vehicles provide the highest confidence, lowest risk solution for human spaceflight. The Atlas V has 31 consecutive successes—101 for the Atlas program as a whole,” said Dr. George Sowers, ULA’s vice president for Human Launch Services. “We recognize that crew safety is critically important, and we have made great progress in demonstrating Atlas V compliance with NASA’s stringent safety and performance requirements for human spaceflight.”
CCiCap is the next logical step in developing commercially provided crew transportation services. In this program, ULA will build upon the risk reduction efforts conducted under CCDev 1 and CCDev 2 by completing the design of the Emergency Detection System, the Dual Engine Centaur, and the launch site accommodations.
“ULA will continue to work closely with SNC to design and build an integrated commercial crew transportation system,” said Sowers. “For several years, ULA has been performing in depth analysis and design under a contract to SNC to determine the optimum approach to deliver Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser spacecraft and crew safely to orbit.”
"Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems is honored to have its Dream Chaser Space System selected for funding as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability competition,” said Mark Sirangelo, head of SNC's Space Systems.
“ULA has been part of our Dream Chaser team since its formation and over the past six years we have formed a strong team which has helped us win this award. We are confident that with the very capable ULA team that the flight proven Atlas V will safely and reliably deliver the Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle and NASA crew members to the International Space Station.”
The Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles were designed and developed by Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company, respectively, and the companies contributed 80 percent of the development funding. Those substantial upfront investments make the Atlas and Delta vehicles the most commercially-developed launch vehicles flying today. In addition, those vehicles were developed and launched in just four years from the contract award.
“The Atlas V offers the earliest launch capability because it is flight proven and does not require any risky development,” said Sowers. “We look forward to working with Sierra Nevada Corporation as we take the next steps to providing U.S. commercial crew transportation services.”
ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., and Harlingen, Texas. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
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