Categories: Commercial Space

Video: How the Dream Chaser Was Built

The origins of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser go back over 50 years to the US Air Force’s and NASA’s research into lifting body concepts and the X-20 Dyna-Soar, so this winged, lifting-body spacecraft is one of the tested and reviewed vehicles ever. This new video about the vehicle provides a summary of the development, testing and manufacturing of the Dream Chaser, which will launch on its first orbital testflight in 2016 as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to provide crew and cargo transportation to the International Space Station.

The Dream Chaser is a classic case of not reinventing the wheel.

“A lot of people told us we needed to get a clear sheet of paper and start all over again,” said Mark Sirangelo, the head of Sierra Nevada Space Systems. “We decided we didn’t want to do that. We wanted to build on something.”

The Dream Chaser — which looks like a mini space shuttle — is the only reusable, lifting-body, human-rated spacecraft capable of landing on a commercial runway. It is about 9 meters long (29.5 feet) with a wingspan of 7 meters (22.9 feet).

Read more about the history of the Dream Chaser design here or at the Sierra Nevada website.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

Recent Posts

Asteroid Explodes Over Canada, Artemis I Updates, Very Large Telescope Improvements

Updates on Artemis I. NASA predicted an asteroid striking Canada. James Webb’s view of Titan.…

2 hours ago

Air-Breathing ion Engines can Continuously Boost Spacecraft Anywhere There’s an Atmosphere

Staying in orbit can be challenging, at least for lower orbits that are more affected…

3 hours ago

Subaru Telescope can now Analyze 2,400 Galaxies Simultaneously

First light is an exciting time for astronomers and engineers who help bring new telescopes…

5 hours ago

Why ‘Contact’ still resonates after 25 years

25 years ago, the film Contact made its theatrical debut starring Jodie Foster and Matthew…

22 hours ago

The First SLS Launch Caused Damage to the Launch Pad. How bad was it?

When you test launch the most powerful rocket ever successfully flown, there’s bound to be…

22 hours ago

What Happened to those CubeSats that were Launched with Artemis I?

The Artemis I mission deployed ten CubeSat's as part of its mission, but only four…

24 hours ago