The Dream Chaser® for European Utilization spatial program is underway with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding

(To Telespazio)

 The Dream Chaser® for European Utilization (DC4EU) officially takes the road with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding confirming the start of the pilot phase.

To sign the agreement were Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), Telespazio (Leonardo-Finmeccanica / Thales), European Space Agency (ESA) and OHB System AG.

Partners will now assess the feasibility and commercial viability of DC4EU missions, which will guarantee Europe an independent access to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions through a Space Utility Vehicle (SUV).

"The SUV Dream Chaser is the only reusable carrier spacecraft with landing capacity on commercial routes anywhere in the world to provide safe, convenient, flexible and reliable transport in space"Said Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President of Space Operations at SNC. "This is what our team is offering to Europe during the ISS transition phase. "

The DC4EU pilot phase

The DC4EU proposal was one of the eight selected by the European Space Agency to start the pilot phase development by the end of the 2016. This offers the best opportunities to ensure European access to the LEO orbit, delivering end-to-end end-to-end missions using exclusive SUV Dream Chaser features, compatibility with the European launcher Ariane 6 and the ability to land on commercial tracks , thus allowing immediate access to payloads. The objective of the pilot phase will be to demonstrate the technical and programmatic feasibility of DC4EU, defining a business plan highlighting its potential both for private and public interests.

"Business partnerships are a new element of ESA's Space Exploration Program. These open spatial exploration at private sector initiatives and offer interesting opportunities to advance the implementation of Esa's strategic objectives in new ways, as well as to expand the stakeholder community actively involved in this sector”Said David Parker, Director of ESA Human Spaceflight & Robotic Exploration.

Dr. Fritz Merkle, Chief Marketing Officer and Member of the OHB Executive Board, said: "The national and international goal of the mission is the prolonged use of infrastructures inhabited beyond the functional length of the International Space Station, with greater cost containment and more effective response capability to users' interests".

Giuseppe Aridon, Strategy and Marketing Manager at Telespazio, explains: "The DC4EU can be a viable platform for European LEO-independent access to European Dream Chaser variants. We are interested in exploring the potential offered by such a promising solution that could prove to be a key element in establishing the ecosystem of future European LEO missions that will see Dream Chaser, and its European version, work alongside other resources European infrastructures for a unique transatlantic partnership with a truly global perspective!".

Team DC4EU

In March 2015 ESA published a Call for Ideas for strategic partnerships with the private sector in spatial exploration. Responding to the invitation, OHB System AG (Germany), Sierra Nevada Corporation (USA) and Telespazio SpA (Italy) joined forces to create what is now called Dream Chaser® for European Utilization (DC4EU). ESA has selected the DC4EU mission between 60 partnership proposals for the implementation of a pilot phase. Developed by SNC, the Dream Chaser® SUV was acquired by NASA to provide freight services to and from ISS, based on a contract called 'Commercial Resupply Services 2' (CRS2). The unmanned spacecraft variant is capable of carrying pressurized loads and not, towards or from the LEO orbit, with landings at certified airports.