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Sierra Space Shooting Star Cargo Module Initiates Rigorous Testing at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test FacilityDecember 4, 2023 | BUSINESS WIRE
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Sierra Space, a leading pureplay commercial space company building the first end-to-end business and technology platform in space, announced the commencement of a comprehensive testing campaign for the Shooting Star™ cargo module at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio. This pivotal phase of testing aims to validate the spacecraft’s resilience to the demands of launch and the challenging conditions of space as Shooting Star is readied for its inaugural mission to the International Space Station.
Sierra Space remains committed to ensuring the utmost reliability of its cutting-edge technologies. The Sierra Space Shooting Star cargo module, designed in tandem with the revolutionary Dream Chaser® spaceplane, is set to redefine cargo capabilities, power and propulsion systems in space.
“This transformative Sierra Space technology will define the next era of space commercialization,” said Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice. “As we embark on this journey to build a platform in space to benefit life on Earth, our commitment to innovation, reliability and sustainability remains unwavering and is exemplified in our Shooting Star cargo module.”
Key Features of the Shooting Star Cargo Module:
- Operates seamlessly with the Dream Chaser® spaceplane
- Internal cargo capacity of 7,000 pounds, complemented by three external mounting points
- Scheduled NASA resupply missions for the International Space Station beginning in 2024
- Compatibility with a diverse range of current and future launch vehicles
- Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) Cargo Services for NASA:
The Shooting Star cargo module is slated to transport critical science, food and cargo to the International Space Station under a NASA Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contract. Accessible via the aft hatch, crews can seamlessly navigate through the module to the Dream Chaser, creating an efficient process for cargo placement and astronaut operations.
In an environmentally conscious approach, the Shooting Star offers cargo disposal services, ensuring the safe incineration of the module in Earth’s atmosphere post-separation from the Dream Chaser. This sustainable practice aligns with Sierra Space Corporation’s commitment to responsible space commercialization.
NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility:
NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility is part of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Located on 6,400 acres in Sandusky, Ohio, it is home to some of the world’s largest and most capable space simulation test facilities, where ground tests are conducted for the U.S. and international space and aeronautics communities.
Following the Shooting Star, the first Sierra Space Dream Chaser spaceplane has also arrived at the Neil Armstrong Test Facility. The two vehicles will be stacked in launch configuration and undergo rigorous environmental testing starting in the Mechanical Vibration Facility, subjecting them to the extreme conditions of launch vibrations on the world’s most powerful spacecraft shaker table.
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