Space Commerce

Sierra Space and the United States Department of Defense Transportation Command to Develop Revolutionary High-Mach Systems for Terrestrial Point-to-Point Delivery

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
Sierra Space
September 8, 2022
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Sierra Space and the United States Department of Defense Transportation Command to Develop Revolutionary High-Mach Systems for Terrestrial Point-to-Point Delivery
Dream Chaser
Sierra Space

Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, announced today the signing of a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement (CRADA) with the United States Department of Defense’s Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM). The two organizations will work together to develop solutions using Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser® spaceplanes, Shooting StarTM cargo modules, and on-orbit infrastructure that provides unique capabilities for precise, cost-effective and timely global delivery of Department of Defense logistics and personnel.

Both parties will collaboratively explore space transportation as a new mode of point-to- point global terrestrial delivery of materiel and personnel, as an alternative and complement to traditional air, land and surface modes for Department of Defense global supply chains. Additionally, the agreement outlines plans to identify current capabilities and maturity of Sierra Space’s space transportation methods, as well as both observed and projected risks, benefits and additional research and development needed as a result.

“Today’s agreement with the United States Transportation Command gives Sierra Space the unique opportunity to provide hypersonic point-to-point solutions to our government customers,” said Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice. “Through Dream Chaser, the world’s first commercial spaceplane, the Shooting Star cargo module and other projects, we are focused on providing unique ultra-high-speed, heavy payload solutions to the Department of Defense for logistics and personnel movement requirements. We plan to leverage these technologies to reach anywhere on the globe within three hours.”

The urgent pace of contested and changing environments and instantaneous sophisticated cyber threats increasingly complicates the traditional distance-driven challenges of on-time worldwide logistics delivery. Considering this environment, this Sierra Space and USTRANSCOM agreement will develop concepts and investigate emerging industry capabilities for projection of forces for immediate employment, and agile transportation options to project and sustain combat forces in complex and contested environments in addition to non-combat activities such as humanitarian relief operations and medical missions.

About Sierra Space

Sierra Space ( is a leading commercial space company at the forefront of innovation and the commercialization of space. Sierra Space is building platforms in space to benefit life on Earth. The company is in the latter stages of doubling its headcount, with large presences in Colorado, Florida and Wisconsin. Significant investors in Sierra Space include General Atlantic, Coatue, and Moore Strategic Ventures.

With more than 30 years and 500 missions of space flight heritage, Sierra Space is enabling the future of space transportation with Dream Chaser®, the world’s only winged commercial spaceplane. Under construction at its Colorado headquarters and expected to launch in 2023 on the first of a series of NASA missions to the International Space Station, Dream Chaser® can safely carry cargo – and eventually crew – to on-orbit destinations, returning to land on compatible commercial airport runways worldwide. Sierra Space is also building an array of in-space destinations for low Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization including the LIFETM (Large Flexible Integrated Environment) habitat at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a three-story commercial habitation and science platform designed for LEO. Both Dream Chaser® and LIFETM are central components to Orbital Reef, a mixed-use business park in LEO being developed by principal partners Sierra Space and Blue Origin, which is expected to be operational by 2027.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.