by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 03, 2014
The Dream Chaser, a reusable crewed space shuttle currently under development by Sierra Nevada Corporation, may one day carry people into space with the help of Stratolaunch's massive carrier plane, the brainchild of aviation legend Burt Rutan and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
The news comes on the heels of Sierra Nevada Corporation's announcement that it will legally challenge NASA's decision to snub the company's bid for a Commercial Crew Transportation contract in favor of the competition's two other proposals, submitted by Boeing and SpaceX.
Despite that setback, the company plans to build a scaled version of the Dream Chaser that can be used with the Startolaunch plane to carry three people into space or serve a variety of unmanned cargo or research missions.
"Combining a scaled version of SNC's Dream Chaser with the Stratolaunch air launch system could provide a highly responsive capability with the potential to reach a variety of LEO destinations and return astronauts or payloads to a U.S. runway within 24 hours," said Chuck Beames, executive director of Stratolaunch Systems.
The original Dream Chaser, which has been undergoing development and flight testing for the past four years, has seating for up to seven and is designed to launch from an Atlas V rocket.
The Stratolaunch carrier plane, an aircraft powered by six Boeing 747 engines that company officials say will be "the largest aircraft ever constructed," has been in the works since its first announcement at the end of 2011 and is designed to carry a 490,000-pound rocket - or now the scaled Dream Chaser - to high altitude for a launch into orbit.
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|