Sarah Nilsson JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah NilssonJD, PhD, MAS

Sierra Nevada Corporation


The Sierra Nevada Corporation is an electronic provider that specializes in space systems, commercial solutions, and national security defense
Headquartered in Sparks, Nevada
33 locations worldwide
Nearly 4,000 employees
Eren Ozmen - Owner and president
Fatih Ozmen - Owner and CEO
Mission: "Dream, Innovate, Inspire and Empower the next generation to transform humanity through technology and imagination."
Products include navigation systems, cyber security,  electronic warfare systems, satellite solutions, and utility space vehicles (Dream Chaser)
450 successful space missions
Delivered over 4,000 systems, subsystems and components around the world
Space operations headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky
Founded in 1963 by handful of employees who worked out of a hangar in Stead, Nevada
In 1994 it was acquired by Fatih and Eren Ozmen
In January 2008 SNC acquired Microsat
In December 2008 SNC acquired SpaceDev
In 2010  SNC  was given a contract for NASA's Commercial Crew Development


Dream Chaser


Dream Chaser is a light space shuttle capable of carrying passengers and cargo to low orbit
In late 2018 the Dream Chaser was approved for production to begin missions to the ISS
In March of 2019 the Dream Chaser passed NASA's Integrated Review 5
Developing hybrid rocket propulsion system known as Vortex
Lifting-body spacecraft
Autonomous launch, flight and landing capabilities (no pilot required)
High reusability, 15+ times
Low 1.5G atmospheric entry
Gentle, commercial runway landing compatible with runways worldwide
Immediate access to crew or cargo upon landing
5.500kg pressurized and unpressurized cargo to the space station
Crewed variant
Environmental control, life support system and seating capable of transporting a crew of up to seven and critical cargo to LEO (Low Earth Orbit)
Windows for crew visibility
Launches without a fairing on top of a human-rated rocket with the ability to safely abort to a runway in the event of an emergency
Integral main propulsion system for abort capability and major orbital maneuvers
Vortex Rocket
Developed by subsidiary Orbital Technologies Corporation
30,000 lbs of thrust
Uses a variety of fuels and oxidizers such as propane and kerosene with nitrous oxide and liquid oxygen
Uses unique swirling propellant flow to naturally cool engine walls
Manufactured to be a simpler, lower cost, light weight and more robust rocket engine
Future projects include mixing hydrogen with liquid oxygen to produce more thrust



Habitat Systems


Logistics and Control Module (LCM)
Deep space exploration
Utility room that houses avionics, guidance and navigation control and life support systems
A version of the LCM combined with the SEPM (Solar Electric Propulsion Module) provides transportation, station keeping and orbit transfer while stationed around the moon
Large inflatable fabric environment (LIFE) provides pressurized volume for living quarters, exercise equipment, experiment area, SNC’s advanced plant growth system and emergency radiation shelter for long-duration habitation
Flexible airlock architecture allows for in-space assembly, extravehicular activities (EVA) by crew members and docking of visiting vehicles such as Orion
Designed to work and launch with other systems

NASA has selected Sierra Nevada Corp to design and prototype a deep space, long-duration, human habitat ship for exploration to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Design characteristics include:

Significant pressurization volume for long duration human living conditions

Docking capability and compatibility with NASA’s Orion spacecraft and NASA’s other spacecraft systems

Environmental control and life support systems

Airlocks for the astronauts to complete space walks and do work on the outside of the craft

Crew health and monitoring and support systems

Propulsion systems for transporting and maneuvering the spacecraft


Will most likely incorporate the LIFE prototype as the main crew cabin

Contact Me

Sarah Nilsson, J.D., Ph.D., MAS


602 561 8665


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The information on this website is for EDUCATIONAL purposes only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice. 

While the author of this website is an attorney, she is not YOUR attorney, nor are you her client, until you enter into a written agreement with Nilsson Law, PLLC to provide legal services.

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