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Sierra Space shakes up its staffing

Sierra Space yesterday did a major staffing shake up, laying off 165 workers while shifting 150 with secruity clearances from its parent company Sierra Nevada.

Sierra Space this week shipped the first Dream Chaser, named Tenacity, for pre-launch testing at NASA’s Armstrong facility in Ohio. The layoffs began soon after, the Sierra Space spokesperson said, noting the company conducted a surge in hiring this year to complete work on the Tenacity spacecraft.

With Tenacity shipped, Sierra Space’s spokesperson said the company is realigning to focus on the operations phase of Dream Chaser’s first mission, as well as on classified national security work. The latter part of Sierra Space’s realignment includes adding nearly 150 employees with security clearances from Sierra Nevada Corp., the aerospace and defense contractor owned by Fatih and Eren Ozmen, which the space company was spun out of two years ago. Sierra Space’s spokesperson said the company is creating a national security space team to work on several classified contracts.

This shift suggests that at least in the short run, Sierra is putting more focus on future military contracts rather than its civilian manned space projects like its LIFE space module (for the Orbital Reef space station) and future manner versions of its Dream Chaser mini-shuttle. I wonder if the company is having more internal doubts about Orbital Reef and its main partner, Blue Origin. Unlike the stations being built by Axiom and Voyager Space, which have already garnered contracts from both national and international customers, Orbital Reef has not done the same. There could be great doubts in the space community it will be built because of Blue Origin’s absymal record for building anything.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Richard M

    “There could be great doubts in the space community it will be built because of Blue Origin’s absymal record for building anything.”

    Well, this is hardly fair: they build some beautiful buildings!

  • David M. Cook

    Military flights won‘t be subject to oversight by the Fish & Wildlife department, that‘s for sure!

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