The company that wants to build Dream Chaser has filed a lawsuit to prevent NASA from proceeding with its contracts with Boeing and SpaceX.
When Sierra Nevada had first protested the contract awards, NASA had first suspended work, then decided to allow work to go forward. This lawsuit is to prevent that from happening until after Sierra Nevada’s protest is resolved.
Here’s what I think is happening: Sierra Nevada has said it is going to submit a bid to NASA for the agency’s second round of cargo flights to ISS, proposing Dream Chaser as one of those unmanned freighters. By playing hard ball now with the manned contact awards, the company is creating leverage with NASA. Though no one can say this publicly, I am sure they are making it clear privately that if they get picked for the cargo contract, they will drop both their lawsuit and protest.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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