- Laurence Russell
Sierra Space and Notre Dame to push the boundaries of scientific discovery in space
Sierra Space, a leading pureplay commercial space company building the first end-to-end business and technology platform in space, announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Notre Dame to explore future space-based research and development in low-Earth orbit (LEO), including flying R&D payloads and conducting scientific investigations on board new commercial outposts.
The five-year agreement empowers university researchers and Sierra Space’s top aerospace engineers and scientists to collaborate on all Sierra Space platforms, including the company’s Dream Chaser® spaceplane, LIFE™ habitat and Orbital Reef, a commercial space station co-developed by Sierra Space and Blue Origin, enabling future R&D opportunities for the storied academic institution.
“The next great breakthroughs in human health, computing and telecommunications will be enabled in space and our company’s mission is to unlock that great potential for the benefit of all humanity,” said Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice. “This alignment with Notre Dame’s globally renowned faculty and students will seek to utilize the university’s vast expertise in space and microgravity research to further accelerate our collective effort to establish a platform in space to benefit life on Earth.”
Through the MOU, Sierra Space and Notre Dame’s subject matter experts will identify potential opportunities to send research and development payloads to space on Sierra Space’s commercial platforms, conduct microgravity experiments, design and develop hardware to support experimental objectives and support the commercialization from research findings.
Notre Dame will draw from its Life Science, Physical & Material Science, Earth and Planetary Science and Aerospace Technology Development fields to create research and development payloads that will use microgravity for findings that could bring benefits to a future where living and working in low-Earth orbit is more common.
“The University is committed to scientific breakthroughs that can help all of humanity,” said David Go, Notre Dame Vice President and Associate Provost for Academic Strategy and Viola D. Hank Professor. “This agreement gives our students and faculty the opportunity to take part in cutting-edge research that will benefit generations to come. Our researchers are always looking for new environments in which to conduct their scientific investigations and access to a unique platform in microgravity will lead us into a whole new era of innovation.” Go is also the chair of Notre Dame's Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.
Sierra Space may also work with Notre Dame’s start-up companies whose interests
include commercialisation of technology and products that could benefit space
and/or microgravity research and manufacturing. Additional collaboration could
include developing proposals and teaming to conduct microgravity research.