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Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser Conducts Critical Flight Test

14 November 2017, 12:40 | Ross Houston

Sierra Nevada Corp.’s prototype Dream Chaser space plane lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California after a drop test

Dream Chaser landing

The company is under contract from NASA to fly its Dream Chaser spaceplane to the International Space Station by 2020.

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

The Dream Chaser suffered a setback in 2013 when the craft's landing gear did not completely deploy during a landing test and it skidded to a stop on the runway.

The spaceplane was carried to an altitude of 10,000 feet by a Boeing Vertol 234-UT heavy-lift helicopter, the civilian version of the Army's CH-47 Chinook, and then dropped to glide to the ground and land on a runway at Edwards Air Force Base. The photos show the craft that looks like a small Space Shuttle in the sky and landing on the runway at Armstrong.

SNC is one of the three private companies, which include Oribtal ATK and SpaceX, selected by the U.S. 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). Sierra Nevada filed a protest, but the government's General Accounting Office upheld the decision. The company says it will release more information about the test Monday afternoon.

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"The Dream Chaser had a lovely flight and landing!"

The Dream Chaser is only a quarter of the size that the Space Shuttle was. Both SpaceX and Orbital ATK developed wingless cargo capsules that launch to the station on top of the companies' rockets.

The success of the flight test likely marks the last milestone for a $227.5 million contract awarded to Sierra Nevada in 2012 for NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) program.

Dream Chaser is aiming to deliver cargo to the ISS beginning in 2019 and will fly six cargo service missions to and from the space station until 2024.



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