Sierra Nevada Corporation after glide test flight of Dream Chaser space plane

Dream Chaser successfully completes glide flight

Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser Space Plane Aces Free-Flight Drop Test

The Dream Chaser is being developed to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station without a crew aboard.

Sierra Nevada Corporation said the test was a success and pledged to give more details on Monday.

Main objective of test flight was verifying ability of guidance system for independent flight and landing.

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According to Nasa, the flight test "helped advance the vehicle under Nasa's Commercial Crew Program space act agreement, as well as helped prepare the vehicle for service under Nasa's Commercial Resupply Services 2 program".

NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center said in November 11 statement that the glide flight "verified and validated the performance of the Dream Chaser in the critical final approach and landing phase of flight". The cargo-carrying spaceplane is expected to supply the ISS for NASA.

In early 2017, sources from this facility announced that the spacecraft would be dropped from a height of 3,810 meters by a Columbia 234-UT helicopter for this test. 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 also has a contract with the United Nations to launch payloads into orbit on the Dream Chaser.

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The flight was the second free flight of the Dream Chaser. Sierra Nevada got funding in 2012 under the CCiCap program, which paid out certain amounts as the spacecraft successfully completed several milestones.

Dream Chaser looks much like a miniature version of a NASA space shuttle.

SNC is one of the three private companies, which include Oribtal ATK and SpaceX, selected by the United States space agency to transport supplies to the International Space Station for the next eight years in a deal potentially worth 14 billion USA dollars (£10bn).

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