NASA has provided the milestone of “Authority to Proceed” to Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) for the Dream Chaser spacecraft’s first NASA mission to the International Space Station. The launch atop an Atlas V to the orbital outpost has been provided with a window late in 2020. The cargo version of Dream Chaser is working under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services Contract 2 (CRS2).
It’s been a long road for Dream Chaser, with her development mainly focused on the crew capable version of the spacecraft.
However, the crewed Dream Chaser was sidelined from NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) when NASA chose SpaceX’s Dragon 2 and Boeing’s Starliner capsules for the transportation of NASA astronauts to the ISS.
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SNC still ensured this version of the vehicle would complete a major milestone in the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCAP) contract, completing a successful approach and landing test 2 (ALT-2) in November.
That test program saw Dream Chaser transported to the Armstrong Flight Research Center in January 2017 to begin further testing and evaluation. This included runway tow tests and captive carry tests, before culminating with the ALT-2 test on November ...