Dream Chaser Space Plane Prototype to Fly Again in 2014
A protoype of a space plane being developed to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station will take to the skies again later this year.
The prototype of Sierra NevadaCorp.'s Dream Chaser vehicle has already been through some drop tests and a free flight in 2013, which ended when the Dream Chaser skidded off the runway. The new series of flights will include several automated ones, followed by piloted trips, said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s space systems division.
The reusable astronaut taxi is one of three designs competing for NASA dollars in the space agency's Commercial Crew Program. The initiative aims to create a viable United States spacecraft that could ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. At the moment, Russian Soyuz vehicles are the only spacecraft that can deliver astronauts into orbit