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Sierra Nevada Corp Partners With Stratolaunch for Dream Chaser Derivative

By Caleb Henry | October 1, 2014
      Dream Chaser SNC

      Sierra Nevada Corp’s Dream Chaser. Photo: NASA

      [Via Satellite 10-01-2014] Following NASA’s decision not to use the Dream Chaser “mini-shuttle” to ferry astronauts for the Commercial Crew Program (CCP), Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has ramped up its efforts to find other commercial uses for its space vehicle. In addition to continuing to pursue human spaceflight, the company has also begun exploring other applications including point-to-point transportation and satellite launch options.

      SNC has joined forces with Stratolaunch, a joint project between Orbital Sciences and Scaled Composites, to use the company’s air-launch architecture for a scaled version of Dream Chaser. The reusable Dream Chaser-Stratolauncher combination would be capable of carrying three people to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for scientific missions, light cargo transport or suborbital point-to-point transportation.

      “This relationship would expand our portfolio to include the highly flexible Stratolaunch system for launching reusable crewed or uncrewed spacecraft, or for rapid satellite constellation deployment,” said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems.