Friday , January 15 2021

Dream Chaser cargo aircraft will go into full production

One of the private space companies that have worked on commercial spacecraft to take payloads into space and to the ISS is the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). The spacecraft, which SNC has been working on for years, is called "Dream Chaser" and it looks a lot like a smaller space shuttle.

Dream Chaser will have its first mission in 2020, and before this mission, the company has announced it has passed the last milestone for its Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract. This means that the spacecraft is set to go into full-scale production.

Eventually, Dream Chaser will be used to transport freight to the ISS. Dream Chaser was originally a concept vehicle for NASA's commercial crew program, but NASA chose to join SpaceX and Boeing instead. In the cargo ship version, the spacecraft has folded wings and can carry over 12,000 pounds of cargo in space and bring back over 4,000 pounds.

SNC was awarded a commercial cargo contract that guarantees at least six missions to the ISS. SpaceX and Orbital ATK each have similar contracts. Several of the components needed for the full-scale Dream Chaser spacecraft have already been produced and tested.

SNC has stated that it expects to be mostly completed with the installation and testing of the first Dream Chaser in October next year. All of the private companies involved in NASA on its freight and crew contracts aim to reduce the cost of space missions.

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