Dream Chaser to launch on ULA’s Vulcan rocket


Readers!
 
For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. They practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.
 
Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.

 

Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


 

Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

 

You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

Capialism in space: Sierra Nevada today announced that it will use ULA’s Vulcan rocket for the six unmanned cargo flights of Dream Chaser to ISS beginning in 2021.

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.

Share

3 comments

  • Richard M

    Interestingly, Dream Chaser will be flying on Vulcan’s second certifying flight. It sounds like Tory Bruno offered them a cut rate. You wonder just how much more this deal would have cost if SpaceX did not exist?

    Competition: It can be a beautiful thing.

    It’s an important win for ULA, diversifying their Vulcan launch manifest in a significant way. Since it’s unlikely to get much in the way of commercial payloads, they might as well diversify between federal agencies.

  • Richard M

    The other interesting thing is that this means that in Commercial Resupply Services next phase, there will now be three different cargo vehicles, launched on three different launchers, each operated by a different company:

    1. Dragon launched on Falcon 9 (SpaceX)
    2. Cygnus launched on Antares (NGIS)
    3. Dream Chaser launched on Vulcan (ULA)

  • Wodun

    Vulcan’s protracted development time helps out with SNCs protracted development time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *