Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Mark Sirangelo Craig Gravelle joined Chuck Beames of Vulcan Aerospace this morning at the International Aeronautical Conference in Toronto to discuss a plan to launch s downsized Dream Chaser via Stratolaunch Systems. (Vulcan Aerospace is owned by Paul Allen, who is financing Stratolaunch).
- Dream Chaser variant is about the size of the Apollo spacecraft
- Vehicle could carry 2-3 astronauts into LEO for visits to the International Space Station and other missions
- Dream Chaser can be automated to carry cargo
- No decision has been made to proceed with the plan, still weighing how to move forward
- SNC not prepared to discuss propulsion systems for Dream Chaser
- Considered using Stratolaunch to send Drream Chaser on suborbital flights, including point-to-point missions
- Stratolaunch carrier aircraft now half built at Mojave Air and Spaceport
- Targeting 2018 for first launch of basic Stratolaunch aircraft and launch vehicle.