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Sierra Nevada Corporation Announces Successful Completion of Dream Chaser® Crew Vehicle Nose Landing Gear Test

Sparks, NV – July 11, 2012 – Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Space Systems has successfully completed testing of the nose landing gear for the Dream Chaser® orbital crew vehicle. This milestone evaluated the impact forces experienced by the landing gear at the front of the vehicle, the nose, in order to ensure safe runway landing capability of the Dream Chaser during approach and landing tests, as well as future orbital flights. Test results were presented to NASA on June 25, 2012, and the successful milestone review was completed the same day.

The Dream Chaser main landing gear was tested in a similar manner in February of this year and other systems that support the flight test are currently being installed and tested. These milestones will prepare the Dream Chaser for its first approach and landing test scheduled for later this year.  SNC has now completed 18 milestones as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. 

“This test marks a significant point in the development of the Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle. As the last milestone before free flight of the Dream Chaser spacecraft, we are now preparing for the approach and landing tests to be flown later this year,” said Jim Voss, Vice President of Space Exploration Systems and Program Manager for the Dream Chaser.

"Just like the space shuttle Orbiter vehicle, the performance of landing gear system must perform flawlessly for the safe return of the crew," CCP program manager Ed Mango said. "It's great to see that SNC is building on that experience while developing the Dream Chaser spacecraft."

The Dream Chaser spacecraft has been under development with NASA assistance for six years and is based on NASA’s HL-20 crew vehicle which has a strong development heritage.  It will launch on an existing United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle, and will have on-board propulsion utilizing SNC’s proprietary hybrid motor technology.  The Dream Chaser is piloted with a crew of seven and can carry critical cargo to the International Space Station and other low Earth orbit destinations, and return crew and fragile experiments to a gentle runway landing.  SNC is the prime contractor for the Dream Chaser program and leads a team of experienced space companies working to build and begin to operate this orbital flight system. 

About Sierra Nevada Corporation

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is one of America’s fastest growing private companies based on its significant expansion and reputation for rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, aerospace, avionics, space, propulsion, micro-satellite, aircraft, communications systems and solar energy. Under the leadership of CEO Fatih Ozmen and Chairman and President Eren Ozmen, SNC employs over 2,100 people in 31 locations in 16 states.  SNC’s six unique business areas are dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to SNC’s dynamic customer base.

SNC is also the Top Woman-Owned Federal Contractor in the United States. Over the last 30 years under the Ozmen’s leadership, SNC has remained focused on providing its customers the very best in diversified technologies to meet their needs and has a strong and proven track record of success. The company continues to focus its growth on the commercial sector through internal advancements and outside acquisitions, including the emerging markets of renewable energy, telemedicine, nanotechnology, cyber and net-centric operations. For more information on SNC visit www.sncorp.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: generalinfo@sncorp.com or 775-331-0222

About Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems business area headquartered in Louisville, Colorado, designs and manufactures advanced spacecraft, space vehicles, rocket motors and spacecraft subsystems and components for the US Government, commercial customers as well as for the international market.  SNC Space Systems has more than 25 years of space heritage in space and has participated in over 400 successful space missions through the delivery of over 4,000 systems, subsystems and components.  During its history, SNC Space Systems has concluded over 70 programs for NASA and over 50 other clients. For more information about SS visit www.sncspace.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: media.ssg@sncorp.com or 720-407-3192