17 May 2013
Astronauts recently took the Dream Chaser winged spacecraft for a spin, rocketing down from 10,000 feet to land on a runway in the Mojave desert in southern California. While the astronauts experienced the turbulence of the craft, they were actually inside the motion-based Research Flight Deck simulator at NASA Langley Research Center, helping fine-tune a next-generation vehicle for manned space exploration. The Dream Chaser, developed by Sierra Nevada Corporation, is a 30-foot-long spacecraft that resembles a mini space shuttle, intended to help replace the space shuttle program, which retired in 2011. Expected to be operational by 2017, Dream Chaser will carry passengers into low-Earth orbit, or ferry them to and from the International Space Station. It will launch aboard a medium-lift rocket, and once in orbit can fly at 17,500 mph and circle the globe in an hour and a half. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Ino > (Newport News Daily Press)