Video: How the Dream Chaser was built

Jan 29, 2014 by Nancy Atkinson
The Dream Chaser space plane atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Credit: SNC

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).

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.


Explore further: Mini space shuttle skids off runway in test flight

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Image: Dream Chaser buffet wind tunnel model

May 08, 2012

(Phys.org) -- The Dream Chaser model with its Atlas V launch vehicle is undergoing final preparations at the Aerospace Composite Model Development Section's workshop for buffet tests at the Transonic Dynamics ...

NASA completes Dream Chaser flight test milestone

Jun 01, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems successfully completed a "captive carry test" of its full-scale Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle Tuesday, marking a new milestone in the company's ...

Recommended for you

Image: Crescent Mimas

16 hours ago

A thin sliver of Mimas is illuminated, the long shadows showing off its many craters, indicators of the moon's violent history.

User comments : 0