Home Science Space Lockheed Martin partners with Sierra Nevada to build Dream Chaser
Sierra Nevada's Dreamchaser spaceplane is the only winged spacecraft in a NASA competition to develop a commercial manned vehicle to service the space station. Sierra Nevada's Dreamchaser spaceplane is the only winged spacecraft in a NASA competition to develop a commercial manned vehicle to service the space station. Sierra Nevada
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Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company announced on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, that it is joining Sierra Nevada Corporation in developing the Dream Chaser winged spacecraft to be used as a commercial space taxis for NASA.

SNC Dream Chaser Concept of Operations Video Sierra Nevada

According to the Sierra Nevada website, "The Dream Chaser Space System is on the forefront of the commercial human spaceflight industry, offering safe, reliable, and cost effective crew and cargo transportation to low Earth orbit."

And, "The Dream Chaser Program’s primary mission is to provide the United States with human spaceflight capability by transporting up to seven crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and returning both crew and cargo safely to Earth."

The Dream Chaser program is one of three competitors in conquest to win NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Program, or CCiCap.

According to the January 31, 2013 Denver Post article Lockheed Martin, Sierra Nevada Corp. partnering on Dream Chaser, "The new multimillion-dollar partnership comes at a point in the vehicle's design and creation process that the company recognizes a need for more experience, said Mark Sirangelo, president of Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems."

Sirangelo states, "While we are very smart people, we reached out to others. There are a lot of smart people in this industry, and we want them on our team."

The Dream Chaser spacecraft is a crewed suborbital and orbital vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing (VTHL) lifting-body space plane. The design of the Dream Chaser vehicle will carry up to seven astronauts to and from low Earth orbit. The vehicle would launch vertically on an Atlas V rocket and land horizontally on conventional runways. It would initially go to the International Space Station, firts with cargo, and later with an astronaut crew.

For more on this subject, please read the CBS Space News article "Sierra Nevada welcomes Lockheed Martin to Dream Chaser project".

It states in part, "Unlike its rivals, which are designing wingless capsules that initially, at least, would make parachute descents to ocean splashdowns, Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser is a winged lifting body that would launch atop an Atlas 5 rocket and re-enter the atmosphere much like a space shuttle, gliding to a runway landing."

The YouTube video "SNC Dream Chaser Concept of Operations Video", shown above, provides detail on the workings of the Dream Chaser spacecraft (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcrYurGgs_0).

Picture Caption (above): Sierra Nevada's Dreamchaser spaceplane is the only winged spacecraft in a NASA competition to develop a commercial manned vehicle to service the space station. (Credit: Sierra Nevada)

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University

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