Sierra Nevada’s engineering test vehicle of its Dream Chaser mini-shuttle completed its first capture carry flight test yesterday.

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The competition heats up: Sierra Nevada’s engineering test vehicle of its Dream Chaser mini-shuttle completed its first capture carry flight test yesterday.

The test, which saw the lifting body space vehicle lifted by a Sikorsky S-64 to around 12,400 ft above the dry lakebed, follows completion of tow tests earlier this month. … During the Aug 22 flight the Dream Chaser’s flight computer, guidance, navigation and control systems were tested along with its landing gear and nose skid, which were deployed during the sortie.



  • The development process of the various private space companies is fascinating to watch. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few years from now the world’s super rich realize that instead of blowing a few hundred million on a yacht (so last century), they can have their own space program.

  • wade

    this Dream Chaser is a mixture of Space Plane Tech that has been learned and proven since the X-15s of the late ’50s to the Shuttle of the ’80s .and can succeed yet, it still relies on ’60s Launch Methods, so far. it is a Lifting Body design that we All seen in action with the NASA Shuttle Program were the dynamic Shape of the vessel develops a percentage of Drag and Lift which slows Descent to a Glider speed enabling a controlled Landing . this IS a very exciting Program conducted by a Privateer. and, who knows, with the correct Funding gained through various avenues of monetary Support, this could Develop into the Dreamed Venture of Commercial Space Flight.

  • Pzatchok

    Everybody is all Happy Happy Happy until something goes all 6 million dollar man on them.

  • There will be loss of life in commercial space. Shuttle, with the world’s best engineering and technical support, and the world’s largest economy behind it, still killed 14 people. This is not easy stuff, but the people doing it fully understand the risks. That there are multiple private space efforts isn’t what’s remarkable, it’s the fact that we live in a society where it’s even possible.

  • Do you Think that you could Learn when to Capitalize and when to Not?

  • Pzatchok

    I NEVER agreed with the shuttle design.

    It was ALL wrong for its mission.
    I noticed this when I was in high school many years ago. What in the world are they putting in orbit that big? Then it hit me, they were not using it to place stuff in orbit cut to recover intact stuff from orbit. Must be spy satellites.

    In fact its real mission was not relieved until later. Which in fact it never did do that mission.
    By the time it was capable of recovering the satellite the US never used film type spy satellites again.
    The CCD has taken over the industry.

    The shuttle was WAY to big for it later missions and was never needed to place payloads into orbit. Standard rockets did that just fine.

    All payloads after that were always designed to fit the shuttle.

    Without the HUGE military and spy money coming into NASA for the shuttle program it was a total waste of money to use as a launch vehicle.
    And NASA has yet to recover from that psychologically. They still think the cash bucket is bottomless.

    Private industry is now doing everything NASA should have done from 1985 till now. And doing it cheaper, faster, and I bet safer. They do not have the US government backing them up insurance wise if something fails. Something falls on a house guess who pays? Not the US government.

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