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Tue, Nov 07, 2023

NASA to Take Delivery of First Dream Chaser Space-Plane

Testing of Sierra Space Reusable Lifting Body Ongoing

Sierra Space has revealed its Dream Chaser space-plane—the culmination of years of the company’s investment, research, development, work, blood, sweat, etc.

The first Dream Chaser specimen, dubbed Tenacity, is complete and will presently be shipped to NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Ohio, where it will undergo a battery of environmental tests over the coming weeks.

Heralded as the world’s sole commercial, runway-capable space-plane, Dream Chaser occasions a genuine and dramatic forward leap in space technology. Supported under the provisions of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract, Dream Chaser is tasked with resupplying the International Space Station (ISS), Dream Chaser is well-positioned to further democratize access to space, thereby hastening human exploration of and expansion into the so-called final frontier.

Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice stated: “Today we have arrived at a profound milestone in both our company’s journey and our industry’s future, one that has been years in the making and is shaped by audacious dreaming and tenacious doing.”

Mr. Vice added: “I am reminded of a comment made by Steve Jobs, that every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. I think Dream Chaser is that product. This breakthrough shifts paradigms and redefines space travel. The Dream Chaser is not just a product; it's a testament to human spirit, determination and the relentless pursuit of what lies beyond.”

On 30 October 2023, Sierra Space team members gathered at the company’s Louisville, Colorado production facility for purpose of celebrating Dream Chaser’s advent.

Dream Chaser is a reusable lifting-body space-plane ostensibly capable of carrying up to seven passengers and cargo to and from Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Planned in manned and unmanned cargo and passenger variants, Dream Chaser is intended to launch vertically atop United Launch Alliances (ULA) Vulcan Centaur rocket and land horizontally on conventional runways.

Dream Chaser’s design derives of NASA's HL-20 Personnel Launch System space-plane concept, which in turn descended from test vehicles the likes of the X-20 Dyna-Soar; Northrop’s M2-F2, M2-F3, and HL-10; and Martin’s X-24A, X-24B, and X-23 PRIME.

Dream Chaser’s on-orbit propulsion system comprises a cluster of Orbitec's propane-and-nitrous-oxide-burning Vortex engines.

Sierra Nevada Corporation, colloquially, Sierra Space, is a privately held, American aerospace and national security contractor specializing in aircraft modification and integration, space components and systems, and related technology products for cybersecurity and health. The company is headquartered in Sparks, Nevada, and contracts with the United States Armed Forces, NASA, and private spaceflight companies.

FMI: www.sierraspace.com

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