Dream Chaser will deliver scientific and military cargo to orbit

The Dream Chaser spaceplane will deliver cargo to the ISS. In addition, its developer, Sierra Nevada Corporation, is working on a reconnaissance aircraft for the US military and a high-altitude balloon for the British Air Force.

Dream Chaser will carry cargo to the ISS. Source: www.space.com

Dream Chaser will carry cargo to the ISS

Sierra Nevada Corporation has signed a contract to use its Dream Chaser spaceplane to deliver cargo into orbit. It is expected that from 2024 it will carry out cargo flights for the German company Yuri, which participates in experiments on board the International Space Station (ISS).

Dream Chaser is expected to make at least six flights. It will be launched using the Vulcan Centaur carrier manufactured by the United Launch Alliance. The launches will be carried out from the US Space Force site at Cape Canaveral. The spaceplane will land on conventional runways.

SpaceX and Northrop Grumman are currently carrying cargo to the ISS. SpaceX’s Dragon can return to Earth at the same time, and Cygnus burns up in the atmosphere. Dream Chaser will complement them as a fully reusable system.

Spaceplane. Source: www.space.com

Sierra Nevada Military Contracts

In addition to civilian orders, Sierra Nevada Corporation has many military contracts. In particular, the new Vortex engine will be tested on the same spaceplane. Its company is developing it together with the US military. It is a variant of the VR35K-A civil engine used on the upper stages of carriers.

In addition, Sierra Nevada Corporation is developing a new RAPCON-X aerial reconnaissance platform for the US Air Force. It is expected that two experimental samples worth USD 200 million will be ready for testing in early 2024. It is expected that the aircraft will be based on the Bombardier Global 6500 business jet design and will replace the Beechcraft RC-12 Guardrail used since the 1970s.

On August 10, it became known about the signing of a contract between Sierra Nevada Corporation and the British Air Force. According to it, the company is obliged to make an unmanned airship “for stratospheric communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance”. It will be used at high altitude in areas with little or no ground support.

According to www.space.com

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