View Full Version : NASA’s Next-Generation Spaceplane Passes Free Flight Test

2017-Nov-15, 12:12 AM
NASA's next-generation spaceplane - the Dream Chaser - recently passed a flight test, which consisted of a glide test and automated landing.
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2017-Nov-15, 01:29 AM
"SNC" is an odd way to spell "NASA". As for restoring domestic launch capacity...erm, there's some other companies doing things in that area too, and they're a little bit ahead. As in "16 launches so far this year and a dozen ISS cargo missions already performed"...and that's just SpaceX. Blue Origin has their own plans, and there's a company called Boeing that's been working on a manned capsule of their own. It's fine to focus on Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser, but this article pretends it's the only thing out there. Characterizing it as a NASA project is also rather bizarre considering that Sierra Nevada failed to win a contract with NASA and had to change direction and develop Dream Chaser on their own as an unmanned vehicle for several years before getting a NASA contract for cargo transport.

I wish them the best of luck, but Dream Chaser is not "NASA's next-generation spaceplane", it's not going to restore domestic access to space, and it's not going to provide more cost-effective ISS services. What it will do is provide an alternative if the lower-cost Dragon is for some reason grounded, and a somewhat faster, gentler ride for particularly fragile return payloads.