Sierra Space
An artist’s impression of the Orbital Reef space station that Sierra Space is currently working on. Source: orbitalreef.com

The subsidiary of private aerospace contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation, Sierra Space, raised $1.4 billion in new capital and saw their company’s valuation soar to $4.5 billion as they look to expand their space transportation portfolio with projects in building a spaceplane as well as a space station.

Their valuation was raised following investment from General Atlantic, Moore Strategic Ventures, Coatue; as well as private equity funds from BlackRock and AE Industrial Partners.

Sierra Space building next-gen space transport systems

Tom Vice, the Chief Executive CEO of Sierra Space, said in a statement that they are building the next generation of space transportation systems as well as in-space infrastructures and destinations that will ultimately allow the building and sustenance of thriving human civilizations beyond Earth.

This represents their first outside venture in the subsidiary company since being set up in April by Sierra Nevada Corporation.

Space plane and space station project

Sierra Space currently has two major projects still under development – namely The Dream Chaser spaceplane which is being developed to deliver cargo and personnel to a low Earth orbit, as well as the Orbital Reef space station which sees Jess Bezos’ Blue Origin partnering with the company to construct.

The Dream Chaser is a spacecraft that is reusable, looking a little like a smaller NASA space shuttle, and it is built to launch on top of a traditional rocket and land like an airplane – The aim is to launch its first cargo mission within the next year.

Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin is the primary partner for Sierra Space’s Orbital Reef space station, with the partnership seeing companies like Boeing, Redwire Space, and Genesis Engineering being involved in the project.

The station aims to start deployment in space sometime later this decade and is planned to be able to inhabit up to 10 persons.

In other space-related news, SpaceX astronauts returned to earth following a 6-month mission on the International Space Station.

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