Sierra Nevada Corporation has an ambitious goal – make Houston the center of the space flight universe once again. Mark Sirangelo is head of the company’s space systems. SNC is working with the Houston Airport System and Rice University on a plan to fly into space out of a new SpacePort planned for Ellington Airfield.
The goal is simple: “Bring the space program back home to Houston,” says Sirangelo. “Let the people of Houston experience it firsthand. Let the children of Houston come out and see and touch the space program. We realize it’s perfectly natural and capable for us to do that.”
He says the program is on track for an unmanned first orbital test flight in November 2016 and a first piloted flight in the third quarter of the next year.
“At that point we would be certified by NASA to start service,” he says. “So, starting in 2018 we will actually begin service to and from the space station.”
Dream Chaser is SNC’s space craft. The company is thinking big and it is going to carry the load.