Sierra Space raises $1.4 billion at $4.5 billion valuation as it builds spaceplane, space station

A rendering of the “Ocean Reef” space station in orbit.

Blue Origin

Sierra Space, the subsidiary of private aerospace contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation, raised $1.4 billion as the company expands its portfolio of space transportation products.

The company’s valuation jumped to $4.5 billion following the raise, with investors including General Atlantic, Coatue, and Moore Strategic Ventures, as well as the funds of private equity firms BlackRock and AE Industrial Partners.

“We are building the next generation of space transportation systems and in-space infrastructures and destinations that will enable humanity to build and sustain thriving civilizations beyond Earth,” Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice said in a statement.

The capital represents the first outside investment in Sierra Space since the subsidiary was setup by Sierra Nevada Corporation in April.

Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser spacecraft in orbit

Source: Sierra Nevada Corporation

Sierra Space has two major projects in development: The Dream Chaser spaceplane, which it is developing to deliver cargo and eventually crew to low Earth orbit, and the Orbital Reef space station, which Sierra Space partnered with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to build.

Dream Chaser is a reusable spacecraft that, in appearance resembling a miniaturized NASA Space Shuttle, is built to launch atop a traditional rocket and land on a runway like an airplane. Sierra Space aims to launch its first Dream Chaser cargo mission in the next year or so.

Blue Origin is Sierra Space’s primary partner for Orbital Reef, with the team also including BoeingRedwire Space and Genesis Engineering. The station is planned to begin deploying in space later this decade, and is designed to be habitable for up to 10 people.

(With inputs from CNBC)