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Dream Chaser passes major milestone
Dream Chaser docked at ISS. © Sierra Nevade Corp

Dream Chaser passes major milestone

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser reusable spacecraft, designed to ferry cargo to the ISS, has successfully passed a NASA integration review.

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) reports that the Dream Chaser spacecraft has successfully passed the third integration milestone under the NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS2) programme.

The Dream Chaser spacecraft is a reusable vehicle designed to provide transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit. It is the only commercial, lifting-body vehicle capable of a runway landing. It will be able to transport 5,500kg of cargo to the ISS, returning with almost 2,000kg of cargo.

SNC has been selected alongside Orbital ATK and SpaceX to provide cargo delivery, return and disposal services for the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract.

According to SNC, CRS2 Integration Review #3 (IR3) confirmed that the Dream Chaser Cargo System design meets NASA's key requirements and maximizes probability of mission success during future flights. The spacecraft is scheduled for at least six missions between 2019 and 2024.

The reliability of the Dream Chaser design was also reviewed as part of NASA's Phase I Safety Review Process, which demonstrated safety and mission assurance criteria. The reviews covered all stages of mission operations including ground, launch, flight and landing.

The Dream Chaser atmospheric test vehicle is currently in preparations for flight testing. The spacecraft is at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, having successfully completed Phase One ground testing leading up to its second free flight test later this year.

The Dream Chaser Cargo System was selected by NASA to provide cargo delivery and disposal services to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract. All Dream Chaser CRS2 cargo missions are planned to land at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility.

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