Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser Space Plane Aces Free-Flight Drop Test

Gwen Vasquez
November 14, 2017

The craft glided to a landing Saturday Nov. 12, 2017 at Edwards Air Force Base. But previous year, NASA awarded a second round of contracts, in order to cover cargo shipments to the ISS from 2019 through 2024. Sierra Nevada filed a protest, but the government's General Accounting Office upheld the decision. Back in 2010, NASA awarded the company $20 million to develop the Dream Chaser as a crewed vehicle, and Sierra Nevada did a ton of tests over the next couples of years to prepare the spacecraft for carrying passengers.

SNC's lifting-body spacecraft has been in development for more than a decade and is created to deliver up to 5,500kg of pressurised and unpressurised cargo to the space station.

Deliveries to the International Space Station might be made by a new craft as early as 2019.

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"The Dream Chaser had a handsome flight and landing!" Right now, two companies - SpaceX and Orbital ATK - hold contracts with NASA to periodically resupply the station through 2018.

- A mini-shuttle that one day may ferry supplies and astronauts to the space station is one small step closer to space after a successful test flight over the weekend. He says that the company will carry out the shipment of cargo to the ISS, for the first time this will be done in 2020. It is being created to land on runways and then allow crews to access the materials flown back to Earth soon after landing.

The spacecraft will be launched on top of Atlas V rockets built by the United Launch Alliance and on its return to Earth it will land on the runway. It was the second glide test for the project. Unlike other spacecraft - the capsules that look like the vehicles that flew in the Apollo-era - the Dream Chaser has wings and wheels that allow it to land on a runway. Sierra Nevada plans to give more details on the test during a press conference this afternoon.

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