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Space exploration gets Xcelerator boost

March 2022 News

Siemens Digital Industries Software announced that Sierra Space, a commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low Earth orbit (LEO) commercialisation, has implemented Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio of software and services as the foundation of its next-generation digital engineering programme. The company is implementing Xcelerator to establish a fully digital environment, from engineering to manufacturing through sustainment, which will help realise goals to develop the future of space transportation, commercial space destinations and infrastructure, and create enabling technologies that will build a vibrant, growing and accessible commercial space economy.

“At Sierra Space, we are building a platform in space that will be the catalyst for the next breakthrough innovations to benefit life on Earth. Our revolutionary new space platform is being developed using a next-generation digital engineering environment that we’ve created in collaboration with Siemens,” said Tom Vice, CEO of Sierra Space. “Siemens’ solutions will significantly accelerate development of our unique space platform – the first to combine all aspects of space transportation, space destinations and space applications in a holistic ecosystem.”

Siemens’ tools were foundational during the development of Dream Chaser, and Sierra Space will use Siemens’ Xcelerator in all phases of next-generation Dream Chaser development, including structural, thermal, mechanical, electrical and software design, vehicle manufacture, requirements verification and complete lifecycle maintenance.

The spaceplane is uniquely capable of a smooth 1,5 low-G re-entry for crew and cargo transportation, with the ability to land on existing compatible commercial runways worldwide. Representing the next generation of space transportation, NASA contracted Dream Chaser to perform cargo supply and return missions to the International Space Station (ISS), where it can deliver up to 5400 kilograms of cargo in a single trip. Sierra Space is expanding on this long-standing collaboration with Siemens as the company fully embraces the transformation to become a digital enterprise.

In addition to Dream Chaser, Sierra Space is also working to design, develop, build, operate and support a customer-centric destination in Earth orbit. In partnership with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, it has developed the Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) habitat, a key component in the Orbital Reef project. This modular, three-story commercial habitation and science platform will provide opportunities for businesses including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and other sectors, to optimise zero-gravity benefits. It can be deployed in low Earth orbit, on the lunar surface or in lunar orbit, and as a transport vehicle to Mars. Sierra Space will use Siemens’ Xcelerator in all phases of LIFE Habitat development and other space destination missions.

For more information contact Siemens South Africa, jennifer.naidoo@siemens.com, www.siemens.co.za


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