I can still remember when the first Space Shuttle launched. A spacecraft that could land like a ‘normal’ plane after its journey in space. It was a revolution for space travel and NASA. We are now more than 40 years later and space travel looks very different. NASA is no longer alone. In fact, the American space agency that once put the first people on the moon in 1969, has since been surpassed by private companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic. Due to budget constraints, NASA is now also working with these private ‘spacerace’ competitors.
Dream Chaser, a new Space Shuttle
In addition to the companies already mentioned, Sierra Space also gets involved in the mix. The company is developing the Dream Chaser, which it claims is a unique spacecraft that resembles the ‘old-fashioned’ Space Shuttle. The Dream Chaser will soon be used to transport space travelers and tourists. Starting takes place ‘on top of’ a rocket. The vehicle lands, just like the Space Shuttle, like an airplane. What is special is that the Dream Chaser can land at any airport where a Boeing 737 can also be grounded.
The reason that the Dream Chaser resembles a Space Shuttle is largely due to the fact that the design is based on NASA’s HL20 concept from the 1990s. The American space agency was then fully engaged in the development of a successor. for the Space Shuttle.
First cargo, then manned flights
If all goes according to plan, the cargo version of the Dream Chaser will make its maiden flight to the ISS for NASA in 2023. The first manned flights are currently planned for 2025.
In addition to developing the new spacecraft, Sierra Space also plans to open an astronaut school and training center. In addition to professional astronauts, ordinary people, like you and me, should also be able to follow astronaut training. It is not yet known what the private training for space tourists will cost.