Louisville’s Sierra Space Corp. has achieved several important milestones in recent weeks on a project being carried out by an aerospace spin-off of Sierra Nevada Corp. as part of a NASA contract.

The company’s Orbital Reef project is a commercially developed, owned and operated space station built in low earth orbit that SSC is creating in conjunction with its Kent, Washington-based partner, Blue Origin. has passed NASA’s system definition review process. The success of the SDR “shows NASA that the space station design is feasible and achievable, and validates that the orbital reef system is on track to move into the design phase,” he said. stated in the release.

The station is expected to be operational by 2027, the release said.

In addition, SSC has completed NASA’s test readiness review for developing carbothermal reduction technology. This technology “processes and extracts oxygen from minerals in the lunar regolith (soil) for use in life support for astronauts and in the production of propellants in space. , is a key component for a sustained presence in space, reducing costs by not having to transport critical components into space at launch,” said SSC.

Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice said in the release: Today’s advances in opening access to space affordably to all come closer to that potential through potential cost savings and the promise of alternative processing technologies. ”

This article was first published by BizWest, an independent news organization, and is published under license. © 2022 BizWest Media LLC.


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