Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser Conducts Critical Flight Test

Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser Conducts Critical Flight Test

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).

Dream Chaser made a landing at a USA air force base Edwards, which is located in the Mojave desert in California.

Sierra Nevada Corporation is developing the Dream Chaser for the last ten years, together with NASA, the latter then singled out to develop more than 125 million dollars.

SNC is planning to deliver cargo to the ISS in 2019 and is expected to fly "at least six cargo delivery missions to and from the space station by 2024". A company called SpaceDev resurrected the design, but after its founder left to form a space tourism company, SpaceDev was purchased by Sierra Nevada in 2008. The company expects to start cargo missions sometime in 2020.

Sierra Nevada conducted a successful glide and landing test flight with its Dream Chaser spaceplane on Saturday, November 11.

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The Dream Chaser is a fairly unique vehicle compared to the other two companies' spacecraft. (5,500 kilograms) of cargo to the International Space Station.

The flight was the second free flight of the Dream Chaser.

This weekend's free-flight test was the second one that Sierra Nevada has done with Dream Chaser. Vehicle managed to perform descent maneuver and deployed landing gear. 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.

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. Sierra Nevada plans to give more details on the test during a press conference this afternoon.

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