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August 8, 2022 34 min

Today’s show is a conversation with Steve Lindsey who is a former U.S. Air Force (USAF) pilot and NASA astronaut with more than 30 years of flight test experience. Today, he is VP of Strategy at Sierra Space where he leads design, development, testing and operational employment of the Dream Chaser® spacecraft, a modern, reusable, lifting-body space system for uncrewed and crewed transportation to low-Earth orbit. We have a Dream Chaser HL-20 mockup at Wings Museum – so it’s a great opportunity to go Behind the Wings of this cutting-edge spacecraft.

During his 15+ year tenure at NASA, Lindsey completed five space flights and logged more than 1,510 hours in space. He last served as chief of the astronaut corps, overseeing spacecraft development, crew selection and training and flight test/crew operations in support of the space shuttle, International Space Station (ISS) and Constellation Programs.


Steve Lindsey is also featured in our latest season 4 of Behind the Wings on PBS, live now on Rocky Mountain PBS and Wings Over the Rockies YouTube Channel – so you can see Steve and the dream chaser in action!

Key Takeaways:

  • Astronaut was the perfect job for Lindsey at the intersection of his passions for flying and engineering
  • Lindsey learned from the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster to never accept something when it's not supposed performing like its supposed to
  • Collaborating with Russian cosmonauts in Space was a success in international collaboration, in contrast to geopolitical challenges on Earth
  • Following NASA's commercial cargo and crew programs, private space exploration is enabling a new era of greater access and sustainability in space exploration
  • The Dream Chaser spacecraft is in 24/7 production and is likely to have its maiden flight in 2023
  • Sierra Space is partnering 50/50 with Blue Origin to create Orbital Reef, a mixed-use commercial space station
  • Lindsey's vision for the future of space exploration is to talk into a classroom and say, "I'm an Astronaut" and for the students to say "Big deal, half of our parents have been to space."
  • Use the code SEASON1 for 20% off your Wings Membership! Become A Member

    Support Behind the Wings by making a financial contribution to Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum’s Annual Fund! wingsmuseum.org/give

    References:

  • Dream Chaser® | Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (wingsmuseum.org)
  • Dream Chaser® Spaceplane | Private Space Travel for All | Sierra Space
  • Become A Member | Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (wingsmuseum.org)
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