Glide tests of Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser shuttle are now scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2013.

Glide tests of Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser shuttle are now scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2013.

The vehicle they will be flying is only a prototype built expressly for these unmanned tests. A separate flight model is under construction and will be used for later manned suborbital tests, followed by a third vehicle built for orbital flights.

Sierra Nevada is moving its mini-shuttle, Dream Chaser, into its own facility.

Sierra Nevada is moving its mini-shuttle, Dream Chaser, into its own facility.

This article isn’t really as positive as I’d like. For one, they haven’t even signed the lease for the building. Instead, it appears that the company is using this announcement, and the subsequent media coverage, to pressure the local city council to provide them subsidies. For another, the article mentions that drop tests of Dream Chaser will occur next spring, a significant delay from previous announcements. Both points make things appear far more tenuous than they should be.

Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser to get its first test flight in the summer of 2012

Dream Chaser, Sierra Nevada’s space plane, is to get its first test flight this coming summer.

For the unmanned test flight, it will be carried into the skies by WhiteKnightTwo, the carrier aircraft for the commercial suborbital passenger ship SpaceShipTwo, backed by Virgin Galactic, a U.S. company owned by Richard Branson’s London-based Virgin Group.

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