Last updated on December 25, 2021
Sierra Space proposes to land its Dream Chaser vehicle at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) to provide payload and cargo return services to potential government and private sector users.
Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser is a reusable reentry vehicle capable of carrying payloads to and from low Earth orbit. NASA has contracted with Sierra Space to deliver supplies to the International Space Station under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2).
The reentry vehicle would reenter from west/southwest on an ascending reentry trajectory before landing at the SLF. Ascending reentry trajectories would include high atmospheric overflight of Central American countries as well as overflight of the southern half of Florida.
The reentry vehicle would descend below 60,000ft altitude, approximately 30-40 miles from the SLF prior to landing and would be operating below 60,000ft altitude for less than 30 seconds before entering Cape Canaveral Restricted Airspace.
The reentry vehicle would remain in the Cape Canaveral Restricted Airspace for the remainder of its reentry and landing at the SLF (approximately 2.5 – 3 minutes).
The Dream Chaser vehicle would be launched as payload on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V at a different site, such as Cape Canaveral.
About Space Florida
Space Florida is the state-chartered spaceport authority and has statutory responsibility and authority to support the expansion and operation of Florida’s commercial space transportation capabilities. Space Florida promotes economic development activities for space industry needs, including attracting, retaining, and expanding aerospace or supply chain businesses that create economic opportunities in Florida. In 2013, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected Space Florida to manage and operate the SLF. In June 2015, Kennedy Space Center transferred the management, development, and operation of the SLF to Space Florida.
Space Florida holds a Launch and Reentry Site Operator License, issued by the FAA in January 2021. This Launch and Reentry Site Operator license allows Space Florida to offer the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF), to launch and reentry vehicle operators. Space Florida applied to the FAA in 2020 to add reentry operations to their previous Launch Site Operator License issued in November 2018.
The Launch and Reentry Site Operator License was issued by the FAA on January 15, 2021 and will remain in effect for five years. For more information, visit the Shuttle Landing Facility Commercial Space Operations page.
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The FAA licenses and regulates U.S. commercial space launch and reentry activities, as well as the operation of non-federal launch and reentry sites. When evaluating license applications, the FAA must conduct the following reviews: a safety review, an environmental review, airspace integration, a policy review, a reentry site location review (Launch and Reentry Site Operator Licenses only), a payload review (Vehicle Operator Licenses only), and a financial responsibility review (Vehicle Operator Licenses only).
Comments on the Draft EA
The FAA encourages all interested parties to provide comments concerning the scope and content of the Draft EA on or before January 24, 2022.
- Comments or questions on the Draft EA should be emailed to SierraSpaceSLF@icf.com.
- Comments may also be mailed to Ms. Chelsea Clarkson, Sierra Space at SLF EA, Federal Aviation Administration, c/o ICF, 9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031.
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