Teledyne Brown Engineering Guiding Spacecraft to Huntsville, Ala.


Huntsville Ala. (Jan​. 10, 2022) – The Huntsville International Airport may soon be a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licensed landing site for commercial space vehicles due to the forward thinking of Teledyne Brown Engineering as an early champion and supporter of the commercialization of space. This, along with efforts from state and local organizations and other aerospace companies, led to a December 9 public meeting, where the topic was discussed as part of the FAA licensing process.

Teledyne Brown Engineering first introduced the concept of landing the Sierra Space Dream Chaser® spaceplane in the Rocket City in 2014. The concept was embraced by a coalition of public and private partners including Sierra Space, Huntsville International Airport, the City of Huntsville, Madison County, the City of Madison, the Huntsville/Madison Chamber of Commerce, and the State of Alabama. This vision led to a Feasibility Study completed in 2015. With the support of the state, city and county commission, the community moved to funding the FAA Licensing Pursuit led by Teledyne Brown Engineering, as the prime contractor, with Sierra Space and RS&H. The effort includes the FAA License to Operate A Reentry Site and a Reentry Vehicle License. Once these licenses are in place, Dream Chaser will be able to de-orbit and land on runways at Huntsville International Airport.

“With a strong local NASA presence and Teledyne Brown Engineering’s decades of experience with space hardware development as well as, payload operations and integration, combined with the community’s longstanding contributions to space research, we felt this was a well-positioned location to host this effort,” stated President of Teledyne Brown Engineering Jan Hess. “We were proudly one of the first companies to support NASA’s goal to expand the commercialization of Low Earth Orbit and believe it is important to continue this effort. What better place to bring that full circle than where the space program began, in Huntsville, Alabama.”

In November 2021, the Huntsville International Airport submitted the application for the Reentry Site License to the FAA, and Sierra Space will submit the Reentry Vehicle License application in early 2022, after which the FAA has 180 days to review and present questions.

“We are very excited to be part of the Huntsville team that will be the first to receive a license to land a commercial space vehicle at an operational international airport,” stated John Roth, vice president of business development for Sierra Space. “Our vision for the Dream Chaser vehicle was always to be able to land anywhere in the world to bring the excitement and economic benefits of space missions to places that have never had that opportunity. Teledyne Brown Engineering and RS&H have been great partners in this effort which will be the first runway-landing commercial space vehicle ever licensed by the FAA to land at an international airport. Being first means we had to break new ground to work through the process with the FAA.”

The Teledyne team is currently approaching potential Mission/Landing candidates, including a Proof-of-Concept Commercial Resupply Services return mission from the ISS, a UN Mission, and missions that will return from the Sierra Space/Blue Origin Orbital Reef Space Station.

About Teledyne Brown Engineering

Teledyne Brown Engineering is an industry leader in full-spectrum engineering and advanced manufacturing solutions for harsh environments in space, defense, energy, and maritime industries. For over six decades, the company has successfully delivered innovative systems, integration, operations and technology development worldwide. For more information about Teledyne Brown Engineering visit:

About Teledyne Technologies Incorporated

Teledyne Technologies is a leading provider of sophisticated instrumentation, digital imaging products and software, aerospace and defense electronics, and engineered systems. Teledyne Technologies' operations are primarily located in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Western and Northern Europe. For more information, visit Teledyne Technologies' website at​