Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Research | By Derrick Holloway

Contracted Soviet-derived spaceplane Dream Chaser makes successful glide test

Contracted Soviet-derived spaceplane Dream Chaser makes successful glide test

The Dream Chaser is being developed to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station without a crew aboard. The reusable craft is considered flawless for this task since it's smoother return will ensure the preservation of precious scientific specimens on board. It's called a lifting body plane due to the lift being created by the body of the vehicle rather than the wings.

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The only thing that I would have would be a personal satisfaction, but in the wider scheme of things, I am irrelevant". Italy , who are now ranked 15th in the world, had an ordinary qualification campaign, finishing second in their group.

Photo A helicopter lifted the Dream Chaser more than two miles off the ground, then dropped it. The flexible aircraft can also be rapidly turned around and reused for future flights.

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According to Nasa, the flight test "helped advance the vehicle under Nasa's Commercial Crew Program space act agreement, as well as helped prepare the vehicle for service under Nasa's Commercial Resupply Services 2 program". Sierra Nevada was picked for that round, along with SpaceX and Orbital ATK again. The Dream Chaser used an onboard autonomous guidance computer to line up with the runway and land, deploying two main landing gear wheels and a front nose skid. Orbital ATK's capsule - known as Cygnus - is then created to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere once it leaves the station, while SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule can survive the descent to Earth, using parachutes to land in the ocean. But Saturday's first-ever successful test flight of a miniature, new-generation space shuttle was something of a coup for the Sierra Nevada Corp., which had been waiting years to fly. The cargo-carrying spaceplane is expected to supply the ISS for NASA.

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The flight was the second free flight of the Dream Chaser. The Dream Chaser, however, which is meant to launch on top of an Atlas V rocket, glides down to Earth like a plane after reentering the atmosphere, landing horizontally on a runway. The company says it will release more information about the test Monday afternoon. The Dream Chaser from Sierra Nevada offers more reliable landings than the other two now offer.

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