credit: Sierra Nevada / caption: Sierra Nevada's Dreamchaser docks with the International Space Station
In the picture above Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dreamchaser reusable vehicle concept docks with the International Space Station. Of NASA's five Commercial Crew Development initiative funded space act agreements announced on 2 February Sierra Nevada won the largest sum, $20 million out of a total fund of $50 million
Sierra Nevada's Mark Sirangelo told Hyperbola: "We are planning to mature our rocket motor system and develop an early prototype drop test vehicle under this programme and supplementing it with our own resources. It is only an eight month programme in its current form. Our programme goal is to have a usable orbital vehicle in service by 2014. The vehicle will take seven crew and critical cargo to and from [low Earth orbit] destinations and be able to land on a 3,000m [9,800ft] runway. Our team consists of seven prominent space companies and universities all with considerable experience."