from the isn't-CRS-an-initialism-for-something-else? dept.
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has announced that NASA has given its Authority to Proceed with the Dream Chaser spacecraft's first cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
In a statement released on Feb. 7 2017, Fatih Ozmen, owner and CEO of SNC stated, "SNC has been successfully completing critical design milestones as approved by NASA, and having a timetable for the first launch is another important step achieved for us. The team has worked so hard to get to this point and we can't wait to fulfill this mission for NASA."
This latest announcement follows a successful free-flight test in January which satisfied yet another NASA milestone. The free-flight proved that the spacecraft would be capable to safely return cargo to Earth utilizing a runway landing.
If it flies, the 2020 launch will be the first of six missions that NASA has contracted with SNC under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract. Those contracts were awarded in January of 2016. SpaceX and Orbital-ATK, who were the only two companies awarded resupply services under the CRS-1 contracts, also saw their agreements with the space agency extended under CRS-2.