A Dream Chaser may fly, someday. Blogs and news sites have some interesting details on when the vehicle may have a test flight.
NASA has been flirting with a number of private firms in the hunt for a company that could offer the U.S. an option in getting its astronauts back into space by the end of 2016. It looks like one such company will be ready for a test flight by as early as next summer.
Pictured above is the Dream Chaser, a seven-seater space plane that’s one of the crew vehicle hopefuls in the running to be the next space shuttle. NASA initially invested $80 million in the craft, and just tossed another $25.6 million at it, lining it up for a test flight next year…
Oh, so next summer, someone is going to put a vehicle on a rocket and launch it like the picture shows?
Well, no. Next summer the Dream Chaser gets a drop test. Woohoo.
It looks as though the efforts to get commercial space taxis off the ground – is succeeding. Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) “Dream Chaser” space plane is slated to conduct its first test flight as early as next summer. SNC is one of four companies that have had proposals selected by NASA under the Commercial Crew Development Program – 02 (CCDev2).
The test flight, what is known as a high-altitude free-flight test or “drop-test” will see Dream Chaser lifted high into the air, where the craft will then be released from its carrier aircraft and attempt an unmanned landing. During the course of this flight test program SNC will test out the space plane’s autoland and other capabilities…
So, by next summer, we will know for sure if gravity still works, and if you somehow had a vehicle in space and a crew needs to go home, they could drop back down somehow.
I liked this headline on Aviationweek, “NASA-Backed Space Taxi To Fly Test Mid-2013.” This story slipped the schedule by one year already.
Maybe NASA or Sierra Nevada just need to hire this guy-