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Key Management - John Curry

Senior Director and Co-Program Manager, Space Exploration Systems Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems

John Curry is the senior director and co-program manager of Space Exploration Systems at Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems, responsible for delivery of a safe and reliable Dream Chaser® spacecraft, a modern, reusable, lifting-body space system for uncrewed and crewed transport to low-Earth orbit. He is a former NASA space shuttle and space station flight director with more than 28 years of manned spacecraft operational and design, development, test and evaluation experience with multiple U.S. spacecraft systems (space shuttle, International Space Station (ISS), Constellation, Orion and Dream Chaser), Russian spacecraft systems (Mir space station, Soyuz/Progress and Zarya) and the Japanese HII Transfer Vehicle.


Curry earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University and began working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) as a space shuttle flight controller. During his NASA tenure, Curry held multiple mission operations positions of increasing responsibility including: space shuttle flight controller, space shuttle-Mir joint operations lead, NASA-Moscow flight operations lead and NASA space shuttle and space station flight director. His 10-year tenure as a NASA flight director included leadership of a large number of critical manned-spaceflight missions which culminated in the successful assembly of the ISS in low-Earth orbit (LEO). In 2007, Curry left the Flight Director Office to serve as the NASA Orion vehicle integration manager and Constellation design integration manager overseeing the Constellation integrated system architectural design (Orion, Ares, ground and mission systems). Curry led the NASA team through fully-successful Orion and Constellation Preliminary Design Reviews (PDR) in 2009. In July 2010, Curry left NASA to help SNC deliver the Dream Chaser spacecraft into LEO.


Upon joining the SNC team, Curry managed all Dream Chaser architectural level Systems Engineering & Integration (SE&I) during NASA’s Commercial Crew Development 1 and 2 (CCDev1, CCDev2), Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) and Certification Products Contracts (CPC) programs. This includes delivery of a closed architectural design that meets NASA requirements and integrates properly with launch vehicle, ground and mission systems. Curry and his SE&I team successfully completed all NASA systems level milestones and reviews including Dream Chaser Space System Requirements Review, System Design Review, PDR, Integrated Systems Baseline Review, the SE&I portions of the 2012/2013 Engineering Test Article flight test campaigns and successful delivery of all NASA CPC products in 2013. In July 2013, Curry and Steven Lindsey were jointly selected as Dream Chaser co-program managers charged with full management of the uncrewed Dream Chaser Cargo System and crewed Dream Chaser Space System programs. In September 2014, Curry and Lindsey led their team through development of the Dream Chaser Cargo System, and in 2016 Dream Chaser was selected for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract. SNC’s Dream Chaser Cargo System will be providing cargo delivery, disposal and return services to the International Space Station through 2024.