Latest
Recommended
Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Sierra Nevada Corp tests Dream Chaser spacecraft

Sierra Nevada Corp tests Dream Chaser spacecraft

Prototype spacecraft Dream Chaser has successfully completed its first glide test flight nearly two years after securing a multi-billion dollar contract from Nasa.

Saturday's test flight is the first of several glide and landing tests Sierra Nevada is planning with the Dream Chaser test vehicle from higher and higher altitudes.

Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC) revealed its spacecraft underwent a free-flight test, launching from a helicopter and landing at the Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert. Sierra Nevada representatives announced on Twitter Saturday. This landing seems to have gone much better, based on the pictures that Sierra Nevada released, though the company hasn't given much additional information.

Dream Chaser, which is about a quarter of the size of NASA's old shuttles, was added by NASA past year as a fourth privately-developed space ferry option.

"The Dream Chaser had a attractive flight and landing!" It is about 30 feet long (9 meters) and capable of hauling up to 12,125 lbs.

SNC is one of the three private companies, which include Oribtal ATK and SpaceX, selected by the USA space agency to transport supplies to the International Space Station for the next eight years in a deal potentially worth 14 billion U.S. dollars (£10bn). The company won a Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract from NASA in 2016 to transport cargo to and from the ISS. The Dream Chaser, however, which is meant to launch on top of an Atlas V rocket, glides down to Earth like a plane after reentering the atmosphere, landing horizontally on a runway.

Resembling a mini Space Shuttle, the Dream Chaser will soon be used to send cargo to and from the International Space Station as part of NASA's Commercial Cargo Program. "The testing will validate the aerodynamic properties, flight software and control system performance of the Dream Chaser".

Like this: