By BRYAN BENDER
— A ticket to ride, work and live in space: New spinoff Sierra Space’s aggressive plan to build a low-Earth orbit economy.
— A Senate panel advances key goals for NASA, including extending the life of the space station, but also throws a wrench in moon plans.
— The James Webb Space Telescope has big plans for Halloween, but the GAO warns again it may not be ready for the party.
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‘THE WHOLE SHEBANG’: As Sierra Nevada Corporation gears up to spin off its space business into the wholly owned subsidiary Sierra Space, it is sharpening its aggressive plans to pioneer a low-Earth orbit economy. At the center is its Dream Chaser space plane, which will land on NASA’s former space shuttle runway, and the company’s inflatable space habitats.
“I think that we will be able to accelerate these plans for getting out there and doing these things faster if we carve out and have our own management team that’s really fully dedicated to space operations and space exploitation, which is different from our previous combined efforts with Sierra Nevada Corporation,” said Janet Kavandi, who is Sierra Nevada's executive vice president for space programs.
Kavandi, who made three trips to the International Space Station herself and retired as director of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio in 2019, said Sierra is thinking outside the box (and not just by airing ads during Elon Musk’s “Saturday Night Live” appearance last weekend).
“We really want to accelerate the ability to create an integrated infrastructure in space, especially in the lower orbit regime,” she said.
At the center of Sierra Space's plans is its Dream Chaser space plane, which will land on NASA’s former space shuttle runway, and the company’s inflatable space habitats. | Getty Images