Space mission to the future: Sierra Nevada Corporation selected rendezvous and docking sensor technology from Jena

German-based space company Jena-Optronik was tapped as a supplier for the next generation spacecraft, the reusable Dream Chaser® spacecraft


The unmanned spacecraft will provide cargo - such as food, water and scientific instruments - to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) program. Jena-Optronik’s RVS3000 rendezvous and docking sensor will support the autonomous approach of the Dream Chaser to the ISS making it the fourth ISS supply spacecraft to use the sensor technology from Jena. The selection follows consultations between Sierra Nevada Corporation and Jena-Optronik which started thanks to the DLR sponsored US-German Aerospace Roundtables (UGART).


“RVS3000 sensors on Dream Chaser will lead us to new technical dimensions”, explains Dr. Florian Kolb, Director Lidar Products at Jena-Optronik. “For the first time a cargo spacecraft will be reused. This is a premier in space. Reusing our technology, including handling by astronauts, is also an exciting premier for us that warranted to go the extra mile to support our customer.“ 


With the program and its contribution, Jena-Optronik enters the market of in-orbit multiuse missions. Each Dream Chaser will have two RVS3000 sensors on board, which will be dismounted by an astronaut and stowed within the spacecraft before the undocking.


“In the literal sense: chasing the dream of travelling in space.  The sensor solution selected by SNC will have the capability to approach other targets besides the ISS – a crucial capability to set up an infrastructure in orbit or to support demanding robotic tasks. We are proud to be  part of these new spectacular missions!”, illustrates Dietmar Ratzsch, President & CEO Jena-Optronik.

About Dream Chaser®


Owned and operated by SNC, the Dream Chaser spacecraft is a reusable, multi-mission space utility vehicle (SUV). It is capable of transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit, where the International Space Station (ISS) resides, and is the only commercial, lifting-body vehicle capable of a runway landing. The Dream Chaser Cargo System was selected by NASA to provide cargo delivery and disposal services to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract. All Dream Chaser CRS2 cargo missions are planned to land at Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility.

Please find more information on the Dream Chaser and CRS2 here

About Sierra Nevada Corporation


Recognized as one of "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Space," Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) provides customer-focused advanced technology solutions in the areas of space, aviation, electronics and systems integration. SNC's diverse technologies are used in applications including space exploration and satellites, aircraft integrations, navigation and guidance systems, threat detection and security, scientific research and infrastructure protection. Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Sparks, Nevada, SNC operates under the leadership of owners, CEO Fatih Ozmen and President Eren Ozmen, with a workforce of more than 3,000 personnel in 34 locations in 19 U.S. states, England, Germany and Turkey providing global support to customers.

For more information on SNC visit and follow us at and Twitter @SierraNevCorp. Sierra Nevada Corporation and SNC are trademarks of Sierra Nevada Corporation.

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