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Dream Chaser is About to Be Shipped from Sierra Space to Florida

After completing a series of environmental testing at a NASA facility in Ohio, Sierra Space claims that the Dream Chaser freight spaceplane is ready to be shipped to Florida for a launch later this year.

The Dream Chaser spacecraft, called Tenacity, and its Shooting Star cargo module successfully finished a battery of shock, vibration, and temperature vacuum testing in chambers at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility, the former Plum Brook Station in Ohio, the business reported on May 9.

Dream Chaser and Shooting Star are now prepared for launch to the Kennedy Space Center, where they will carry out more electromagnetic and acoustic testing. Along with finishing up the installation of its thermal protection system, workers will integrate the cargo for the next flight.

Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice said in a statement, “ Successful completion of an incredibly rigorous environmental testing campaign in close partnership with NASA is a significant milestone and puts Dream Chaser on track for operations later this year,”

Dream Chaser was supposed to launch in June of this year, but the company hasn’t provided a more precise timetable. Industry insiders now anticipate a fall launch, noting Dream Chaser’s ongoing pre-launch activities and the timetable of visiting vehicles to the International Space Station, which includes a cargo Dragon mission and the Crew-9 Crew Dragon mission scheduled for late summer.

Due to development delays in both Dream Chaser and United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket, which would launch the spacecraft, the maiden launch has been postponed by several years. Dream Chaser is scheduled to be Vulcan’s second launch, following its successful first launch in January. This flight would validate Vulcan for the transportation of payloads related to national security.

The first of seven NASA supply trips to the International Space Station is presently being contracted out to Sierra Space. Tenacity will accompany Reverence, a second Dream Chaser vehicle being built by the company, on those missions and maybe in other applications. Additionally, the business has declared its intention to build a crewed Dream Chaser.

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