Sierra Nevada partners with Brevard company for mini-shuttle

Craig Technologies out of Cape Canaveral to partner for Dream Chaser program

Commercial space company Sierra Nevada Corp. revealed a test version of the cargo module of its spaceplane Tuesday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Sierra Nevada Corporation announced Thursday it has selected Cape Canaveral-based Craig Technologies to partner with its Dream Chaser program.

With the new partnership, Craig will add hundreds of jobs, while at the same time helping build America's next generation spacecraft.

Local 6 took a tour around the 160,000 square-foot building where the Dream Chaser, a mini-shuttle that can carry seven astronauts to the International Space Station and beyond, will be housed and worked on before its launches from the Kennedy Space Center.

"At the end of the day, we started this program because we realized that the space shuttle was ending and since that program has ended, we have not been able to bring American's to space on an American space vehicle and we think it's time for that to change," said Mark Sirangelo with Sierra Nevada.

Sierra Nevada is just one of three companies hoping to win a contract with NASA to send astronauts to the International Space Station.

On Monday, Boeing unveiled their spacecraft, the CST-100, and last month, SpaceX showed off their Dragon capsule.

But Sirangelo likes his company's chances of winning the contract.

"Our vehicle, in many ways, is like an SUV. It's able to take people and cargo up to the station in an effective manner," he said. "We call it our space utility vehicle and it can do a lot of things in space besides transportation. It can help fix things, build things, and we're quite proud of that and the connection we have to the U.S. space program."

Sierra Nevada says its first flight from KSC is set for November 1, 2016.

About the Author:

Justin Warmoth joined News 6 in 2013 and is now a morning news anchor.