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Sierra Nevada Gets DIU Contract to Design Autonomous Space Outpost

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The Defense Innovation Unit has awarded Sierra Nevada Corp. a contract to create an unmanned orbital outpost prototype based on the company's space transport vehicle design.

SNC said Tuesday it will repurpose the 16-foot Shooting Star hardware that was originally designed to function as a Dream Chaser spaceplane attachment under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services 2 program.

The company intends to adapt the cargo vehicle for the proposed establishment of an autonomous space station in low-Earth orbit to facilitate logistics demonstrations and other experiments.

According to SNC, it expects the future outpost to have guidance, control and navigation systems that will support free-flight operations, hosted payloads and various space missions.

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