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Dream Chaser mini-shuttle given 2016 launch date

Posted in Science on 25th Jan, 2014 12:18 AM by AlexMuller

The Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has set 1 November, 2016, for the debut flight of its space shuttle replacement. Known as the Dream Chaser, the winged vehicle will launch atop an Atlas V from Florida's Kennedy Space Centre. Though smaller than Nasa's famous orbiters, the Dream Chaser has still been designed to carry up to seven astronauts into low-Earth orbit.

The maiden voyage, however, will be an unmanned, autonomous flight. The re-usable "lifting body" will spend about a day in orbit before returning to a landing strip on the US West Coast. If all goes well, SNC hopes to mount its first manned mission in 2017.
And, ultimately, the Dream Chaser will land back at Kennedy on the same runway as used by the shuttles, and be serviced in Kennedy's processing facilities.
The date for the demonstration flight was announced in a joint media conference that included representatives from SNC, the US space agency (Nasa), and United Launch Alliance (ULA), which operates the Atlas rocket.
The 9m-long Dream Chaser is one of the three commercial human transportation systems currently being developed with the financial and technical support of Nasa.
The other two are more traditional capsule designs known as CST-100 and Dragon, from the Boeing and SpaceX companies respectively.

Tags: spaceSierra Nevada CorporationDream ChaserSpaceX

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Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-25
SNC and NASA will do a good job with this shuttle and I am looking forward to the first flight in 2016- will make the headlines Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-25
At present the fact remains that since the retirement of the USA's own shuttle fleet in 2011, NASA has been dependent on the Russians to take its astronauts up to the station. This passenger service is not cheap and the Russians charge around £40 million per person for a seat on Soyuz. This is not just costly, but also calls for USA to be more competitive and restore its pride.
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-25
Yes, I agree and NASA has been pushing the case for the US to regain the ability to send crew to the ISS station from American soil. Reply


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