Long-term partnership: sensors from Jena again on its way to the ISS

Jena-Optronik GmbH signs first long-term agreement for rendezvous and docking sensors with Sierra Space, a subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC).


A US company Sierra Space and the German space company have been working together under NASA's CRS-2 program (short for Commercial Resupply Services 2) since the beginning of 2017. The partnership has now been strengthened with a long-term agreement for the delivery of RVS3000-3D rendezvous and docking sensors to be used on Dream Chaser missions to the International Space Station.


The two companies recently finalized a contract, securing the delivery dates for the first two sensors to be used for follow-on ISS missions on the Dream Chaser® spaceplane.


The Dream Chaser is a commercial cargo transport system that is able to return to Earth on a regular runway - similar to NASA’s Space Shuttle and is reusable 15 times or more. It was selected by NASA as part of the CRS-2 program to supply the ISS with critical cargo capability. Alongside SpaceX and Northrop Grumman Space Systems, Sierra Space is the third space company to offer supply flights to the ISS for NASA, and the only vehicle that provides low g runway landing.


The spacecraft supplies the ISS with food, fuel and scientific experiments. After undocking, Dream Chaser flies back to Earth. When re-entering the atmosphere, the secondary sensor provided by Jena-Optronik burns up while the primary sensors provided by Jena-Optronik fly back to Earth and are then reused on the next flight to the ISS as a part of system with dissimilar redundancy.


“Our sensors are already successfully supporting American and Japanese unmanned space transporters in their missions. Now we have concluded another long-term partnership with a provider of commercial flights to the ISS with the agreement between Sierra Space and Jena-Optronik. With the Dream Chaser, our sensors will also fly on a fully reusable space transporter for the first time - and that too in duplicate! We are very proud to be able to support Sierra Space with our sensors as part of this long-term partnership in the CRS2 program as well as other exciting missions - such as the Sierra Space's own commercial space station.”, Peter Kapell, CEO of Jena-Optronik GmbH.

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