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Sierra Space and IBM Collaborate on the Next Generation of Space Technology and Software Platforms

Through this planned agreement with IBM, Sierra Space will leverage the full depth of its industry expertise and innovative technology portfolio to evaluate and support unique in-space challenges it will face as it builds the future of commercial space.

Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization and IBM (NYSE: IBM), a technology leader within the space industry going back to the earliest days of the U.S. space program, recently announced the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Together, Sierra Space and IBM plan to work to develop the next generation of space technology and software platforms across Sierra Space’s range of space vehicles and infrastructure.

The MOU outlines the companies’ plans to integrate IBM’s technology to coordinate the tasks and workload of Sierra Space astronauts through the company’s data analysis and collection technology. In addition, IBM plans to support Sierra Space through its journey of building a seamless technology platform in space, which both envision as a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive platform to effectively service the cloud in space and drive mission operations – all while supporting development of new applications for commerce, research, tourism and more.

“Sierra Space is leading the design, development and operations for the future of commercial space and infrastructure,” said Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice. “Through this planned agreement with IBM, we will leverage the full depth of its industry expertise and innovative technology portfolio to evaluate and support unique in-space challenges we will face as we build the future of commercial space. Effective Hybrid Space Platforms will allow us to derive previously untapped value from the growing quantities of data generated in space. Together, we will leverage secured AI to drive new capability for Sierra Space, IBM, the broader orbital ecosystem, and the new space economy.”

“IBM is committed to re-invigorating approaches to science and innovation to meet today’s biggest challenges. Collaborating with a leader like Sierra Space will support the growth of a more robust space economy in low-Earth orbit and beyond,” added Naeem Altaf, CTO IBM Space. “There is unlimited potential for humanity’s future in space. We see Sierra Space as a core leader and collaborator in advancing that vision. In this envisioned – but secured – environment, collaborators and partners will be able to innovate, co-create, and co-operate together at scale in a way that drives mutual benefit for the space industry as a whole. As we progress, IBM looks forward to working with Sierra Space across a range of initiatives to accelerate new and innovative possibilities for LEO and the new space economy.”

IBM’s technology platform would facilitate Sierra Space’s efforts for automating business operations to achieve better performance, automate IT operations to deliver actionable insights, automate application and data flows to improve client experiences, automate networks to deliver zero-touch operations, and generate deeper insights into threats, orchestration actions and automate responses.

The proposed joint work is also expected to drive a single, unified, and flexible distributed computing environment where users can easily build and modernize applications, make data AI-ready, and integrate and orchestrate workloads (across multiple environments and vendors) for flexible, secured, and open operations. The companies are discussing development and deployment of these abilities terrestrially and/or in space, in addition to offering support for ongoing operations and management of Sierra Space’s technologies.

Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.


About Sierra Space

Sierra Space is a leading commercial space company at the forefront of innovation and the commercialization of space in the new Orbital Age. Sierra Space is building platforms in space to benefit life on Earth. The company is in the latter stages of doubling its headcount, with large presences in Colorado, Florida and Wisconsin. Significant investors in Sierra Space include General Atlantic, Coatue, and Moore Strategic Ventures.

With more than 30 years and 500 missions of space flight heritage, Sierra Space is enabling the future of space transportation with Dream Chaser®, the world’s only winged commercial spaceplane. Under construction at its Colorado headquarters and expected to launch in 2023 on the first of a series of NASA missions to the International Space Station, Dream Chaser® can safely carry cargo - and eventually crew - to on-orbit destinations, returning to land on compatible commercial airport runways worldwide. The company also plans to establish a Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Sierra Space is also building an array of in-space destinations for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization including the LIFE™ (Large Integrated Flexible Environment) habitat at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a three-story commercial habitation and science platform designed for LEO. Both Dream Chaser and LIFE are central components to Orbital Reef, a mixed-use business park in LEO being developed by principal partners Sierra Space and Blue Origin, which is expected to be operational by 2027.

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