One of the private space companies that are working on commercial spacecraft to deliver payloads to and from the ISS is Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). The spacecraft SNC has been working on for many years is called the “Dream Chaser” and looks like a smaller space shuttle.
Dream Chaser will have its first mission in 2020, and on the threshold of this mission, the company announced that it had passed the final frontier for its commercial service contract 2. This means that the spacecraft is preparing for full-scale production.
Ultimately, Dream Chaser will be used to forward cargo to the ISS. Dream Chaser was originally a conceptual tool for the NASA crew’s commercial program, but NASA preferred to use SpaceX and Boeing. In the cargo ship version, the spacecraft has folding wings and can carry more than 12,000 pounds of cargo into space and return more than 4000 pounds.
SNC has received a contract for the commercial carriage of goods, which guarantees him at least six flights to the ISS. SpaceX and Orbital ATK have the same contracts. Several components required for a full-scale Dream Chaser spacecraft have already been manufactured and tested.
SNC said it plans to complete the assembly and testing of the first Dream Chaser by October next year. All private companies associated with NASA for contracts for cargo and crew, seek to reduce the cost of space flight.