Colo. company tests spacecraft in Calif. desert

August 23rd, 2013 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
This image provided by NASA shows a Sikorsky S-64 Sky Crane helicopter lifting Sierra Nevada Corp.'s Dream Chaser test spacecraft into the air for a captive carry test at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in California. The Dream Chaser Space System mission is to provide NASA with a safe, reliable commercially-operated transportation service for crew and cargo to the International Space Station and back to Earth. (AP Photo/NASA, Ken Ulbrich)


This image provided by NASA shows a Sikorsky S-64 Sky Crane helicopter lifting Sierra Nevada Corp.'s Dream Chaser test spacecraft into the air for a captive carry test at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in California. The Dream Chaser Space System mission is to provide NASA with a safe, reliable commercially-operated transportation service for crew and cargo to the International Space Station and back to Earth. (AP Photo/NASA, Ken Ulbrich)

A Colorado company developing a spaceship to take astronauts to the International Space Station has run the craft through a series of tests at a NASA facility in California.

The two-hour test of Dream Chaser spacecraft occurred Thursday at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. A helicopter picked a test version of the small spacecraft and flew it 3 miles at heights reaching 12,400 feet.

The Dream Chaser followed its projected path, and its flight computer, guidance and navigation system were tested. The landing gear and nose skid also were deployed.

The test paves the way for further tests at Dryden this fall as part of Sierra Nevada Corp.'s agreements with NASA.

This image provided by NASA shows a Sikorsky S-64 Sky Crane helicopter operated by Erickson Air Crane lifting Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser test spacecraft into the air for a captive carry test at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Thursday Aug. 22, 2013, in California. The Dream Chaser Space System, being developed by a Colorado company, is to provide NASA with a safe, reliable commercially-operated transportation service for crew and cargo to the International Space Station and back to Earth.(AP Photo/NASA, Ken Ulbrich)

The vehicle is designed to carry seven people and land like a plane.

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"Colo. company tests spacecraft in Calif. desert." August 23rd, 2013. http://phys.org/news/2013-08-colo-company-spacecraft-calif.html