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renegadebusdallas.com November 17, 2017


SNC's Dream Chaser Takes Step Forward to Commercial Cargo

15 November 2017, 12:56 | Francis Delgado

Spaceplane meant to resupply the space station pulled off a successful glide flight this weekend

Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser performs critical glide test flight

The Dream Chaser spacecraft made a "beautiful flight and landing" during a second glide test on Saturday, according to its producer, Sierra Nevada Corporation.

On Saturday, private spaceflight company Sierra Nevada announced that its Dream Chaser spaceplane had successfully glided and landed on a runway after being released from a helicopter. Like the Enterprise test flights, this one took place at Edwards Air Force Base, CA and Sirangelo expressed gratitude to NASA and the Air Force for their assistance.

Below, photos and renderings of the new spacecraft.

Along with SpaceX and Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada is under contract from NASA for as many as six cargo flights to the station.

He said the fully autonomous vehicle "flew itself from the drop to the ground through the landing".

More Sunshine, Warmer Monday
I am going to up rain chances slightly both days thanks to higher confidence and to account for the more overnight Friday timing. Tonight: We will continue to see some clouds sticking around this evening with a cold low temperature near 34 degrees.

The company is also developing a version of its shuttle that could carry as many as seven passengers to low Earth orbit. "This advances our program and the Dream Chaser towards orbital flight, while meeting the final milestone for our NASA CCiCap [Commercial Crew integrated Capability] agreement and supporting milestone 5 of the CRS-2 contract". But in 2014, NASA didn't pick the Dream Chaser to do crewed flights to the ISS, going with SpaceX and Boeing's proposed vehicles instead.

"The Dream Chaser flight test demonstrated excellent performance of the spacecraft's aerodynamic design and the data shows that we are firmly on the path for safe, reliable orbital flight", Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC's Space System business area, said in a November 13 press release. Those missions will land at Kennedy Space Center. Dream Chaser is a lifting body whose design builds on work NASA did through the HL-20 program decades ago. The first launch of the laboratory version of the vehicle is expected in 2021, Sirangelo said, pointing out that the company has received an "overwhelming" response to its call for science proposals issued in September at the International Astronautical Congress in Australia. During a tow test, a pick-up truck drags the spacecraft up to 60 miles per hour, then releases it and lets the vehicle stop itself.

SNC hopes to fly the first Dream Chaser to the ISS as early as 2020.

Orbital flights will be made by a space-capable version of the Dream Chaser that will be launched atop a booster rocket.



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