Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Dream Chaser successfully completes glide flight

Dream Chaser successfully completes glide flight

During the last two years, SNC has worked to reconfigure the Dream Chaser to make it cargo-only spacecraft, after losing out as entrants in Nasa's commercial crew competition to build spacecraft that would see humans travel to low-Earth orbit and back. The craft glided to a landing Saturday Nov. 12, 2017 at Edwards Air Force Base.

Yesterday, November 12, in the U.S. private Corporation Sierra Nevada told the public about the successful completion of the tests reusable spaceship Dream Chaser.

The testing showcased the Dream Chaser's aerodynamic properties as well as flight software and control system performance. 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. Sierra Nevada representatives announced on Twitter Saturday.


In 2014, the space agency announced it would only fund the Dream Chaser rival programs, SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft, for Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap). Sierra Nevada initially designed the Dream Chaser to carry astronauts, but the company has since reworked the design to be an autonomous cargo spaceplane. Both SpaceX and Orbital ATK developed wingless cargo capsules that launch to the station on top of the companies' rockets. It will lift off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 booster from Cape Canaveral, and will touch down on the runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Dream Chaser used an onboard autonomous guidance computer to line up with the runway and land, deploying two main landing gear wheels and a front nose skid.

The spacecraft is still in its prototype phase so any data gathered from the test will help influence the final design of Dream Chaser.

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