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Meet Dream Chaser, The Next-Generation Space Plane | Countdown to Launch

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This new space plane just got one step closer to liftoff, and it could change spaceflight to the ISS in years to come.
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The Space Shuttle Orbiter is an iconic symbol of human space exploration, and we havent seen anything like its unique design since its retirement in 2011.

Until now.

Engineers at the Sierra Nevada Corporations facility in Colorado are in the early stages of assembling the new space plane, called the Dream Chaser.

The Dream Chaser is one of NASAs Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract recipients, and the vehicle will join the fleet of utility spacecraft, like SpaceXs Dragon capsule and Northrop Grumman's Cygnus module.

But unlike those spacecraft, the Dream Chaser is shaped like a plane, allowing for the space plane to be reused 15 times or more, reducing costs and allowing for quick turnaround between missions.

The space planes shape is not the only thing that makes the Dream Chaser so enticing, the vehicle is also capable of supporting a variety of needs, like landing on runways used to passenger planes; carrying various loads of cargo; supporting a microgravity lab; and disposing of waste from the International Space Station (ISS).

It can land on runways used for passenger planes; carry various loads of cargo; support a microgravity lab; and dispose of waste from the ISS.

Find out more about the next-generation space plane that might be the new icon of human spaceflight for years to come on this episode of Countdown To Launch.

#Space #Exploration #Rocket #Spaceplane #NASA #Astronaut #CountdownToLaunch #Seeker #Science

Read More:
SNC's Dream Chaser spacecraft
"Our Dream Chaser spacecraft was selected by NASA to provide cargo delivery, return and disposal service for the space station under the Commercial Resupply Service 2 (CRS-2) contract. Dream Chaser will carry critical supplies like food, water, and science experiments and returns to Earth with a gentle runway landing. The spacecraft will provide a minimum of six cargo missions to and from the space station starting in fall 2021."

Tile Shop Prepping Heat Shields for Future Flights
"Tiles made from improved silica-based blocks will make up most of the belly and upper portion of the heat shield, while a new material developed at NASAs Ames Research Center called TUFROC will cover the nose and leading edges. Those are the surfaces that must resist and mitigate the highest temperatures the spacecraft experiences from the friction of re-entering Earths atmosphere."
"Dream Chaser will be the commercial debut for Vulcan, with the first mission in late 2021 flying on the rockets second flight, said Tory Bruno, president and chief executive of ULA. This is a very competitive launch market nowadays, he said, and to be selected by SNC to fly this block of missions on our Vulcan launch vehicle is just a tremendous honor."


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