Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser: Next-Gen Cargo Transport to the ISS

Published Categorized as Space News No Comments on Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser: Next-Gen Cargo Transport to the ISS
Sierra Space's Dream Chaser
Sierra Space's Dream Chaser

Since the Space Shuttle’s retirement in 2011, NASA has depended on Russian spacecraft for trips to the International Space Station (ISS). In recent years, private companies such as SpaceX have transformed American space travel, and soon Boeing’s Starliner will join SpaceX’s Crew Dragon in ferrying astronauts and cargo.

Adding to this new era of space transportation is Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser, a spaceplane reminiscent of the Space Shuttle. Initially based on NASA’s HL-20 design from the 1960s, the Dream Chaser will start as an uncrewed vehicle capable of transporting up to 11,500 pounds of cargo to the ISS. Additionally, it features a Shooting Star module to accommodate extra payloads.

Sierra Space's Dream Chaser
Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser (Sierra Spaces)

The Dream Chaser’s first mission, initially set for April but now delayed, will carry 7,800 pounds of cargo. Recently, the spacecraft was transported to Kennedy Space Center for final testing. The Dream Chaser will undergo rigorous tests before launching atop a United Launch Alliance Vulcan rocket.

Once operational, the Dream Chaser will stay at the ISS for up to 45 days before returning to Earth. Designed for reusability, it will undergo inspection and preparation for future missions. NASA plans at least seven missions with the Dream Chaser, with the potential to extend mission durations to 75 days and increase cargo capacity to 11,500 pounds.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments