An artist's concept of the Dream Chaser in orbit. Image source: Sierra Nevada Corporation.
Aviation Week reports that Sierra Nevada Corporation may file an appeal to protest their loss of a NASA commercial crew award earlier this month.
[SNC Corporate Vice President of Space Systems Mark Sirangelo] said the company may file a formal protest of NASA’s decision to reject its commercial crew bid with the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The deadline for a bid protest, which could lead to a reconsideration of the contract awards, is Sept. 26, and Sirangelo suggested Sierra Nevada may have financial and technical grounds for the action. A final corporate decision, in consultation with the company’s lawyers, was planned following a meeting Sept. 25.
The article quoted Sirangelo as saying that “Sierra Nevada will bid on the second-round NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-2) contract to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.” SNC has proposed various versions of Dream Chaser, including a strictly autonomous version that could serve an orbital microgravity laboratory and land by remote control.
The Denver Post reports that SNC “laid off about 90 employees from its Dream Chaser program” after losing the NASA contract bid.
Space Systems chief Mark Sirangelo said many of those let go had been hired in anticipation of the NASA contract.
“We did do a workforce reduction, but it was a relatively minor one compared to what it might have been,” he said.
The layoffs represent a 9.4 percent reduction in Space Systems' Colorado workforce, he said. Sirangelo said the laid-off workers will receive severance, but he would not disclose details of the package.