Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser space plane to be moved to Florida ahead of launch

Dream Chaser Tenacity undergoing testing (Credit Sierra Space)

Sierra Space recently completed testing of Dream Chaser ‘Tenacity’ at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio.

The space plane will be launched atop United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket and will carry cargo to the International Space Station, finished an intense amount of testing that included facing extreme temperatures and shock testing.

Dream Chaser was put through many tests to ensure it could survive the trip to space and a lengthy stay in orbit at the Space Station.

The first test saw the space plane, along with its additional cargo attachment ‘Shooting Star’, connected to the Vulcan Centaur stage separation mechanism for a shock test, followed by being placed on the most powerful spacecraft shaker table in the world. This testing took place over 5 weeks as teams replicated the conditions the space plane would see during launch on Vulcan. They also conducted the same testing but replicated the separation of the cargo attachment from Dream Chaser before de-orbiting.

After that round of testing, the space plane was moved into a thermal vacuum chamber which can cycle temperatures from -150F to +250F (-101C to +121C), the same temperatures it would see while in space.

With this testing complete, Sierra Space will transport Dream Chaser Tenacity to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for its last round of testing before being attached to ULA’s Vulcan rocket. Sierra Space and ULA are hoping to launch in 2024 if final testing flows smoothly and the Vulcan rocket is ready.

Sierra Space is also currently working on its next Dream Chaser, Reverence, which will also be used to transport cargo to the ISS.

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Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser space plane to be moved to Florida ahead of launch
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