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The competition heats up: Sierra Nevada has announced that its Dream Chaser engineering test vehicle has been refurbished and will complete a number of manned and unmanned flight tests in the fall, with their schedule on track for a November 2016 orbital test flight.
“We will do between two and five additional flights. A couple will be crewed. As a result of the vehicle being upgraded, we will be flying our orbital flight software, which will give us about a year’s worth of advancement on the vehicle.” Flights are expected to last over a six- to nine-month period, he adds.
Sierra Nevada has also continued to expand its partnerships, both in the aerospace industry as well as with other countries. The first action is likely part of a lobbying effort to help convince NASA to choose it when it down selects its commercial manned program from three manned spacecraft to two later this year. The second action indicates that even if Sierra Nevada is not chosen by NASA, they plan to proceed to construction anyway to serve other customers.