Dream Chaser spaceplane
Sierra Nevada Corporation
The "Dream Chaser"
was originally planned as a manned propelled spaceplane (two hybrid motors) and
docking system for the ISS. In the meantime, however, the Sierra Nevada Corporation
(SNC) develope a freighter version that has to reach the ISS orbit without an own
propulsion, because the added cargo module at the rear would it destroy by burning
motors in the spaceplane. Consequently, there are also clear differences for launching
the two versions. An suitable launcher is required for the unpowered freighter version.
. The development of the Dream Chaser had already started in the hands of SpaceDev in 2004. In October 2008, however, the project, including the company, was taken over by the Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC).
The design of the Dream Chaser is based on the HL-20 space transport system designed as "Lifting Body", which was projected in the late 1980s as a supply vehicle for the planned US space station "Freedom."
The unmanned cargo version of the Dream Chaser was introduced in 2015. The concept envisages that the reusable spaceplane will be connected to a non-reusable cargo module. Cargo module and spaceplane are accessible and can be reached via the hatch at the rear of the spaceplane. The ring for docking with the ISS is located at the back of the cargo module. Before returning to Earth, the spaceplane is pyrotechnically separated from the cargo module.
The cargo variant of Dream Chaser is to be used regularly for supply flights to the ISS from 2023.
This Dream Chaser is designed to launch vertically on a rocket and housed in a fairing. For this purpose, the wings of the spaceplane are hinged mounted. The Vulcan (ULA) is intended as a launch vehicle for flights to the ISS.
The spaceplane has a life support system at its core and can easily be converted to a manned version by adding two hybrid notors in the side boxes and a docking ring at the rear. Such a manned version has already been built as a model.
We are now in 2022 and see the completion of a first Dream Chaser as cargo version
"Dream Chaser" cargo version