LOUISVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) — Colorado companies are working together to enhance the future of space exploration. Sierra Nevada Corporation announced the arrival of its primary vehicle structure for the Dream Chaser spacecraft Tuesday morning.
SNC’s Dream Chaser is a reusable, multi-mission space utility vehicle. The Dream Chaser Cargo System was selected by NASA to provide cargo delivery to the International Space Station under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract.
“The design is complete. We’re going into the build process now and shooting for flying in late 2021,” said Steve Lindsey, SNC SVP of Space Exploration Systems.
SNC designed the Dream Chaser and Lockheed Martin helped build it. The space craft will catch a ride to the ISS on a rocket provided by Centennial-based United Launch Alliance.
The structure is the largest piece of technology to make up Dream Chaser and the most advanced, high-temperature composite space frame ever built.
“We can deliver 12,100 pounds of stuff from the ground into the space station, but the key is the return,” said John Curry, Dream Chaser CRS-2 Program Director.
The Dream Chaser will deliver supplies like food and water, but more importantly, the spacecraft’s design will allow it to bring research back to Earth.
“We land with a low G-force reentry and soft runway landing, so we can bring those sensitive science experiments that NASA has back,” explained John Roth, SNC VP Business Development, Space Systems.
It’s an unmanned cargo mission, but companies hope this spacecraft will carry more than supplies in the future.
“I do think we’re going to change the world…I think we’ll be flying crew soon enough,” said Curry.
The Dream Chaser will take off from Cape Canaveral in late 2021, but ULA’s rocket will be controlled from Centennial. The Dream Chaser’s mission control is in Louisville.