Dream Chaser passes a big milestone with a successful glide test landing

Dream Chaser passes a big milestone with a successful glide test landing

Dream Chaser passes a big milestone with a successful glide test landing

Dream Chaser is a derivative project from NASA's 1990s HL-20 Launch System, which in turn was inspired by the Soviet Spiral program, a series of spacecraft developed for space warfare and orbital-glide bombing since the late 1960s.

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

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In previous tests this year a helicopter carried the Dream Chaser aloft but did not release it. The stunt, done at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, is known as a free-flight test and is meant to test out the vehicle's landing capabilities.

Below, photos and renderings of the new spacecraft.

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"The Dream Chaser had a lovely flight and landing!" 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. 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. It is about 30 feet long (9 meters) and capable of hauling up to 12,125 lbs.

SNC's lifting-body spacecraft has been in development for more than a decade and is created to deliver up to 5,500kg of pressurised and unpressurised cargo to the space station. 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. Right now, two companies - SpaceX and Orbital ATK - hold contracts with NASA to periodically resupply the station through 2018. The unmanned test landing marks a major milestone for the Sierra Nevada Corporation, after a similar 2013 flight ended in a crash after the landing gear failed to deploy correctly.

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