Update on Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser

Dream Chaser berthed at space station. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

The slide below is from a recent NASA update on the space agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

Although Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser was eliminated from the final round of the program nearly three years ago, the company has continued to develop the vehicle for both crew and cargo flights to the International Space Station. NASA has awarded a contract for cargo flights under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 program.

A full-scale engineering article is set to conduct an approach and landing test at NASA’s Armstrong Flight and Research Center in California this fall. The flight is one of the unfinished milestones from Sierra Nevada’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capabilities contract.

The test will come about four years the last Dream Chaser approach and landing test in October 2013. The glide portion of the flight went as planned, but a failure of part of the landing gear resulted in a crash on the runway.

The company is continuing to develop Dream Chaser for crew flights under an unfunded Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA. A total of eight milestones are included under the agreement, which has been extended to August 2022.

Under an unfunded SAA, each side pays covers its own costs for any work performed.

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Orbital Completes First Commercial Supply Mission to ISS

Orbital Sciences' Cygnus cargo craft moves away from the International Space Station's robotic arm shortly after its release. (Credit: NASA TV)
Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus cargo craft moves away from the International Space Station’s robotic arm shortly after its release. (Credit: NASA TV)

Dulles, VA, Feb, 19, 2014 (Orbital PR) – Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced the successful completion of the first of eight CygnusTM operational cargo logistics spacecraft missions to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the company’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. The Cygnus spacecraft unberthed from the ISS yesterday morning at 6:41 a.m. (EST), completing a 37-day stay at the orbiting laboratory. Today, Cygnus reentered Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand at approximately 1:20 p.m. (EST).

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