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Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser Space Plane Aces Free-Flight Drop Test
13 November 2017, 09:36 | Lucia Cruz
The Dream Chaser rolls out on Runway 22L at Edwards Air Force Base California. Credit NASA
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). The craft glided to a landing Saturday Nov. 12, 2017 at Edwards Air Force Base. Sierra Nevada representatives announced on Twitter Saturday.
Sierra Nevada is developing Dream Chaser to deliver supplies to the space station for NASA under the agency's Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) program. Right now, two companies - SpaceX and Orbital ATK - hold contracts with NASA to periodically resupply the station through 2018. Orbital ATK's capsule - known as Cygnus - is then created to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere once it leaves the station, while SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule can survive the descent to Earth, using parachutes to land in the ocean.
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.
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. A fully working version of the Dream Chaser could start making deliveries as soon as 2020, if all goes according to schedule. Since then, Sierra Nevada has been modifying the Dream Chaser to just carry cargo. The vehicle flew a similar glide flight in October 2013, which the company and NASA considered successful despite a landing gear failure that caused the vehicle to skid off the runway after 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.
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