Video: How the Dream Chaser was built

January 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).

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

Related Stories

Image: Dream Chaser buffet wind tunnel model

May 8, 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 Tunnel at NASA ...

NASA completes Dream Chaser flight test milestone

June 1, 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 effort to develop ...

Recommended for you

Fast radio bursts may be firing off every second

September 21, 2017

When fast radio bursts, or FRBs, were first detected in 2001, astronomers had never seen anything like them before. Since then, astronomers have found a couple of dozen FRBs, but they still don't know what causes these rapid ...

Ageing star blows off smoky bubble

September 20, 2017

Astronomers have used ALMA to capture a strikingly beautiful view of a delicate bubble of expelled material around the exotic red star U Antliae. These observations will help astronomers to better understand how stars evolve ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.