There have been many discussions lately about NASA’s space plane, the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser. This aircraft resembles older model space shuttles but on a much smaller scale but with fewer crew members. Now the elusive space plane has completed a crucial testing mission and is nearly ready to begin operations.
“The Dream Chaser had a beautiful flight and landing!”
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– Sierra Nevada
A high-powered helicopter lifted the Dream Chaser high into the sky and released it to complete a successful landing back to Edwards Air Force Base. The long-term goal is to use the Dream Chaser as a means of transporting supplies to the International Space Station. But Sierra Nevada’s new spacecraft isn’t the only contender in the race, it also has competition from SpaceX and Orbital ATK which currently has supply contracts through 2018. Each of these groups are aiming towards becoming the next big spacecraft company.
“Everything went very well for us. Overall our parameters in the test were met or exceeded in our minds.”
– Mike Sirangelo (Vice President Sierra Nevada Corporation)
The launch of the Dream Chaser from high altitude is a step in the right direction as the program advances. Sierra Nevada’s full initiative could launch as early as 2020 if all goes according to plans. Video of the Sierra Nevada Dream chaser being launched from high altitude and returning to Edwards Air Force Base can be viewed in this clip.