The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has officially begun today, and alongside the electric snowmobiles and smart home gadgets is a display product that is unlikely to enter your home any time soon.
Sierra Space is at CES 2022 showing off the company’s Dream Chaser space plane and LIFE habitat, which will both be vital to the company’s Orbital Reef space station.
Sierra Space was created as an independent company last year and was formerly Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space System’s division.
The company has long been developing its Dream Chaser spaceplane. Dream Chaser is currently planned to take three forms, including a DC100 cargo version, DC200 crew version, and DC300 cargo version capable of reaching geostationary orbit.
The cargo version will be the first to launch, and it will be carried to space on a United Launch Alliance Vulcan rocket. The company would like the launch to happen this year, but the odds seem low due to delays in Blue Origin’s development of the BE-4 engine that will lift both Vulcan and New Glenn rockets.
Once the vehicle gets flying, it will begin supplying cargo to the International Space Station as a part of the company’s CRS-2 contract.
Beyond Dream Chaser, Sierra Space was showing off a smaller model of its LIFE habitat. Both Dream Chaser and LIFE will be essential to the planned Orbital Reef Space Station, a collaboration between Sierra Space, Blue Origin, Boeing, and others.
The commercial space station is set to be deployed between 2025 and 2030, with the completed station serving multiple purposes, as a research laboratory, tourism destination, and manufacturing.
As the ISS is set to reach end-of-life near 2030, commercial space stations will be essential to ensuring continuous human presence in low-earth orbit.
Stayed tuned for more CES 2022 coverage, including an interview with Sierra Space.
Photos by Seth Kurkowski for Space Explored.