Contracted Soviet-derived spaceplane Dream Chaser makes successful glide test

Contracted Soviet-derived spaceplane Dream Chaser makes successful glide test”

It glided towards the Edwards Air Force Base in California and successfully landed.

The engineering test article (ETA) was lifted by a helicopter sky-crane and released from an altitude of over 3,000 meters, Space News reported.

Dream Chaser is aiming to deliver cargo to the ISS beginning in 2019 and will fly six cargo service missions to and from the space station until 2024. Sierra Nevada representatives announced on Twitter Saturday.

Sierra Nevada Corporation said the test was a success and pledged to give more details on Monday.

SNC's lifting-body spacecraft has been in development for more than a decade and is created to deliver up to 5,500kg of pressurised and unpressurised cargo to the space station. The spacecraft will launch on Atlas V rockets built by the United Launch Alliance and make runway landings. The flight was a final funded milestone in the Space Act Agreement that Sierra Nevada Corporation has with NASA as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability effort.

If Sierra Nevada is going to fulfill supply missions for the International Space Station and the United Nations, it'll have to prove that its Dream Chaser spacecraft is ready to fly... and it just took a big step in that direction.

NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center said in November 11 statement that the glide flight "verified and validated the performance of the Dream Chaser in the critical final approach and landing phase of flight". "The testing will validate the aerodynamic properties, flight software and control system performance of the Dream Chaser".

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