Dream Chaser CRS-2 Program Director, Space Systems, Sierra Nevada Corporation
John Curry is senior director and Dream Chaser Program Director 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 which provides uncrewed and crewed transport to low-Earth orbit. He is a former NASA space shuttle and space station flight director with more than 32 years of manned spacecraft operational and design, development, test and evaluation experience with multiple U.S. spacecraft systems (space shuttle, International Space Station (Space Station), 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 Space Station 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 Systems Engineering & Integration (SE&I) activities in support of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development 1 and 2 (CCDev1, CCDev2), Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) and Certification Products Contracts (CPC) contracts for the Crewed version of Dream Chaser. In July 2013, Curry and Steven Lindsey were selected as Dream Chaser co-program managers charged with full management of the uncrewed and crewed Dream Chaser Programs. In 2016, SNC was selected as a critical supplier for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract which utilizes SNC’s Dream Chaser Cargo System for a minimum of six cargo delivery, disposal, and return service missions to the International Space Station through 2024. Curry and his Dream Chaser team are wholly responsible for successful completion of these minimum six missions. The first Dream Chaser mission to the international space station is scheduled for 2021.