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The competition heats up: Germany has funded a study to look into using Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser for its space operations.
Named DC4EU (Dream Chaser for European Utilization), the project is to explore ways in which the Dream Chasercan be used to cover German and European requirements for the transportation of payloads and astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and for deployment as a manned or unmanned space vehicle allowing German and European scientists to conduct research under weightless conditions over extended periods of time. Given the capability which the Dream Chaser has for reaching orbits at a substantially greater altitude than the ISS, the study will determine the extent to which it is able to supply satellites or remove decommissioned satellites from their orbits.
All hail competition and private enterprise! Sierra Nevada designed it. Sierra Nevada built it. Sierra Nevada owns it. If NASA decides it doesn’t want to buy it, there is no reason the company can’t sell it to someone else, for profit.