Space Taxi Ready for Takeoff As Dream Chaser Prepares for Launch

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Sierra's Dream Chaser Space Plane Getting prepped to Launch in Florida

The sleek and innovative Dream Chaser spacecraft is on the brink of its cosmic odyssey, having triumphantly concluded its rigorous environmental trials. Now, poised in Florida, it prepares for the ultimate evaluations preceding its eagerly awaited voyage beyond Earth’s bounds.

Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser, nicknamed “Tenacity,” along with its cargo module, the Shooting Star, have undergone a series of rigorous tests at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Ohio. These tests subjected the spacecraft to harsh conditions, including intense shock, vibration, and thermal vacuum simulations, ensuring their readiness for the challenges of space.

Preparations are now in motion for Tenacity and Shooting Star to be transported to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida for the last round of testing before their inaugural launch later this year. Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice emphasized the significance of completing the demanding environmental testing in partnership with NASA, marking a major milestone on the path toward operational space missions.

Once at KSC’s Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF), Tenacity and Shooting Star will undergo final pre-launch tests, including assessments for acoustic resilience, electromagnetic interference, and compatibility, as well as inspections and adjustments to the spaceplane’s thermal protection system.

Tenacity represents the first of Sierra Space’s fleet of spaceplanes, slated to undertake seven missions to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services-2 contract. The company is already working on the second spaceplane, named Reverence, at its facility in Colorado.

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Nathan Henderson

By Nathan Henderson

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