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Sierra Nevada engineers and the company’s owners, Fatih and Eren Ozmen, considered boosters built in Japan, Europe and by SpaceX and Blue Origin. But they ultimately selected United Launch Alliance, they said, based on a competitive — but undisclosed — cost, the Vulcan’s capabilities, ULA’s unblemished launch record and a long-standing working relationship.
While the six space station resupply missions are baselined to fly on the Vulcan, with ULA’s Atlas 5 available as a backup, CEO Fatih Ozmen said the company is holding open the option of launching Dream Chasers commercially on other rockets if demand develops. [emphasis mine]
The highlighted text is key. They are putting ULA on notice. Deliver at a competitive price, and on time, or we will exercise our option to go elsewhere.
At the same time, this really isn’t news. The company picked ULA for its first two Dream Chaser cargo flights back in 2017.
Meanwhile, I would like to see some concrete progress from Sierra Nevada. They got their cargo development contract from NASA in January 2016, almost four years ago, and since then not much has seemed to happen.