Sierra Nevada Corporation

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Sierra Nevada Corporation
Type Private
Industry Aerospace
Headquarters Sparks, Nevada
Key people Eren Ozmen, President and CFO; Fatih Ozmen, CEO
Products Spacecraft
Renewable Energy
Navigation and Guidance
Information Management
Electronic Protection
Cyber Security
Employees 3000+

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is an electronic systems provider and systems integrator specializing in microsatellites, energy, telemedicine, nanotechnology, and commercial orbital transportation services. The company contracts with the US military, NASA and private spaceflight companies. The company is headquartered in Sparks, Nevada.

SNC employs over 3000 people.[1] SNC has six different business areas, and 30 locations in 16 states along with numerous customer support sites located throughout the world.[2]


The company was founded in 1963 by John Chisolm. It started out as a small business with a few employees, working out of an airplane hangar in Stead Nevada. Later it was owned and successfully run by Chisolm's daughter Michelle Bergfield (Chisolm), and was acquired in 1994 by husband and wife Fatih and Eren Ozmen. Fatih was one of the few original employees hired by Chisolm. The Ozmens are Turkish but live in the United States.[3] Fatih has been associated with the company since 1981.[4]

Major contracts[edit]

On February 27, 2013, the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano offered by Sierra Nevada Corporation and its partner Embraer, won a bid for a U.S. Air Force Light Air Support contract to provide reconnaissance and training capabilities to the Afghanistan military.[5]

SpaceDev - Now SNC's Space Systems[edit]

On December 16, 2008 SNC announced it had completed its acquisition of SpaceDev.[6] SNC is now developing an orbital spacecraft called the Dream Chaser.[1] On February 1, 2010, Sierra Nevada Corporation was awarded[7] $20 million in seed money in phase 1 of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program for the development of the DreamChaser. Of the $50 million awarded in the phase 1 CCDev program, Dream Chaser's award represents the largest share of the funds.[8]

On August 3, 2012, NASA announced new agreements with the Sierra Nevada Corporation and two other companies to design and develop the next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, enabling a launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in the next five years. Advances made by these companies under newly signed Space Act Agreements through the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative are intended to ultimately lead to the availability of commercial human spaceflight services for government and commercial customers. As part of this agreement, Sierra Nevada Corporation was awarded $212.5 million, ostensibly to continue development and testing of its Dream Chaser spacecraft.[9] The Dream Chaser is modeled after the retired U.S. Space Shuttle with a lifting-body design.[10]


SNC is the prime contractor on RocketMotorTwo for SpaceShipTwo, and is designing the rocket engine for Scaled Composites.[11] On April 29, 2013 SpaceShipTwo completed its first powered flight test using RocketMotorTwo, breaking the sound barrier.[12]

Aircraft reconnaissance development[edit]

Gorgon Stare, a wide-area surveillance sensor, is being developed and tested on the MQ-9 Reaper at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. with the 53rd Wing. These sensors pods have been in development since 2009 by the Air Force’s Big Safari group and Sierra Nevada Corp.[13]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]