US-based SNC, owned by two Turks, wins NASA contract
SPARKSSierra Nevada Corp., owned by two Turkish entrepreneurs, will conduct a minimum of six cargo delivery missions to and from the International Space Station (ISS) under a contract it won from NASA, according to a statement released on Jan. 14. The missions will use SNC’s Dream Chaser Cargo System.
NASA’s selection of SNC for its Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) program will enable spacecraft reusability and runway landings for United States’ cargo delivery and access to the ISS through 2024, according to the statement.
SNC is an American private electronic systems provider and systems integrator specializing in microsatellites, telemedicine, and commercial orbital transportation services. The company was founded by a married couple of Turkish origin, CEO Fatih Özmen and President Eren Özmen.
“SNC is honored to be selected by NASA for this critical U.S. program,” said Eren Özmen.
“In such a major competition, we are truly humbled by the show of confidence in SNC and look forward to successfully demonstrating the extensive capabilities of the Dream Chaser spacecraft to the world. SNC’s receipt of this award is an American dream comes true for all of us. We thank NASA, the administration and Congress for recognizing the importance of this vital program by supporting the CRS2 contract,” she said.
SNC is the owner and prime operator of the reusable Dream Chaser spacecraft, which has been in development for over 10 years, including six years as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and leverages over 40 years of NASA development and space shuttle heritage, added the statement.
“The Dream Chaser Cargo System offers NASA a safe, reliable and affordable solution for ISS cargo delivery, return and disposal, ensuring the effective utilization and sustainability of the ISS for years to come,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems.
“Within a few short years, the world will once again see a United States winged vehicle launch and return from space to a runway landing. We wanted to thank our more-than-30 industry, university, international and NASA center partners for helping us make history and open up the next generation of spaceflight.”
SNC’s Dream Chaser Cargo System features includes an innovative folding-wing design which allows the Dream Chaser spacecraft to fit inside existing launch vehicle fairings, making it compatible with a diverse suite of rockets and assuring access to space. It also includes the ability to simultaneously deliver 5,500 kg of pressurized and unpressurized cargo to the ISS, which exceeds NASA’s CRS2 RFP requirements, according to the statement.
SNC is also a stakeholder in Turkey’s regional jet program. In June 2015, Turkey announced plans to design, develop and produce an indigenous Turkish regional jet, a first time in the country’s history.
Under the plan, SNC and the Ankara-based defense technologies firm STM created the joint venture company TRJet to build the Turkish regional jet. Recently, however, STM terminated its participation in the venture.