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Sierra Nevada announces plans for first Dream Chaser launch
Posted: Fri, Jan 24, 2014, 6:03 AM ET (1103 GMT)
Dream Chaser launch on Atlas 5 illus. (SNC) Sierra Nevada Corporation, one of three companies competing to develop commercial crew transportation vehicles for NASA, announced Thursday that its plans for the first orbital flight of its vehicle in late 2016. The Colorado-based company said Thursday that it will launch Dream Chaser on its initial test flight on an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in November 2016, and has an agreement for the launch in place with United Launch Alliance. That launch, company officials said, will not carry any crew on board, but a second test flight planned for 2017 will carry a two-person crew. Sierra Nevada said it will use the Shuttle Landing Facility runway at the Kennedy Space Center for landings of future Dream Chaser missions, although the initial test flight will likely land in California. Sierra Nevada is developing Dream Chaser, a lifting body vehicle, as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Boeing and SpaceX are also developing capsules as part of that effort. Proposals for the next phase of the program, called Commercial Crew Transportation Capability or CCtCap, were due to NASA earlier this week with the selection of one or more companies for vehicle development planned for this summer.
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