The Sierra Space design and engineering team has given some insights into its development of its Dream Chaser space transportation and infrastructure for low Earth orbit (LEO).
The spaceplane is uniquely capable of a smooth 1.5 low-g re-entry for crew and cargo transportation with the ability to land on compatible existing commercial runways worldwide.
Representing the next generation of space transportation, NASA contracted Dream Chaser to perform cargo supply and return missions to the International Space Station (ISS), where it can deliver up to 12,000lbs of cargo in a single trip.
Sierra Space is putting digital twin technology at the core of its product development strategy, and is expanding on its long-standing collaboration with Siemens to do so, implementing Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio of software and services for its next-generation digital engineering program.
Sierra Space says that this will include structural, thermal, mechanical, electrical, and software design, along with vehicle manufacture, requirements verification and complete lifecycle maintenance.
“At Sierra Space, we are building a platform in space that will be the catalyst for the next breakthrough innovations to benefit life on Earth. Our revolutionary new space platform is being developed using a next generation digital engineering environment that we’ve created in collaboration with Siemens,” said Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice.
“Siemens’ solutions will significantly accelerate development of our unique space platform – the first to combine all aspects of space transportation, space destinations and space applications in a holistic ecosystem.”
In addition to Dream Chaser, Sierra Space is also working to design, develop, build, operate, and support a customer-centric destination in Earth orbit. In partnership with Blue Origin, they have developed the Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) habitat, a key component in the Orbital Reef project.
This modular, three-story commercial habitation and science platform and will provide opportunities for businesses including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and other sectors, to optimise zero gravity benefits.
It can be deployed in low-Earth orbit, on the lunar surface, or lunar orbit and as a transport vehicle to Mars.