NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver visited Boulder, Colo. today to meet with entrepreneurs and discuss innovations in space exploration and technology development critical to America's future in space.
Garver toured the facilities of Sierra Nevada Corporation, a company with wide involvement in developing technologies for space exploration. The company's Dream Chaser vehicle is under development with support from NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Program to provide crew transportation to and from low Earth orbit.
"It's a pleasure to see commercial space making rapid progress in Colorado," Garver said. “As NASA becomes more nimble, companies like Sierra Nevada and others will help the U.S. out-innovate, out-educate and out-build any competitor in the world”.
As NASA focuses on a renewed program of technology development to reach destinations farther in the solar system, it will continue a vigorous program of human spaceflight aboard the International Space Station and foster a growing commercial space industry with the capability to produce jobs and economic benefits.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with NASA in the development of our Dream Chaser Orbital Space Vehicle," said Mark N. Sirangelo, head of Sierra Nevada's Space Systems Group. "The extensive knowledge, terrific support and expertise NASA is providing have enabled us to advance our program significantly. We are now ahead of schedule and in production of our first flight vehicle because of NASA and the CCDev program."
The NASA Authorization Act of 2010, passed with strong bipartisan support, calls on NASA to pursue commercial access to space and extend the life of the space station to at least 2020. Along with these goals, the act directs the agency to open multiple pathways to innovate and develop new capabilities for the exploration missions of the future.