Thursday, November 02, 2023

Sierra Space Introduces Reusable Dream Chaser Spaceplane "Tenacity"

Sierra Space Introduces Reusable Dream Chaser Spaceplane "Tenacity"

The First Spaceplane in the New Dream Chaser Fleet: Sierra Space has proudly revealed a product of passionate determination, innovations and relentless commitment—the remarkable Dream Chaser spaceplane. The first vehicle "Tenacity," is complete and will ship to NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Ohio for environmental testing in the coming weeks.

It is the world’s sole commercial runway-capable spaceplane. Supported by a substantial contract from NASA to resupply the International Space Station, Dream Chaser is poised to lead the way in democratizing access to space, forging a path towards shared space exploration and international cooperation.

Dream Chaser Tenacity Spaceplane: “Today we have arrived at a profound milestone in both our company’s journey and our industry’s future—one that has been years in the making and is shaped by audacious dreaming and tenacious doing,” said Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice.

“I am reminded of a comment made by Steve Jobs that every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. I think Dream Chaser is that product. This breakthrough shifts paradigms and redefines space travel. The Dream Chaser is not just a product; it’s a testament to human spirit, determination and the relentless pursuit of what lies beyond.”

Sierra Space team members gathered to celebrate this milestone moment on October 30th, at the company’s Louisville, CO, production facility.

Unlocking Opportunities for Space Access

The versatile Dream Chaser spaceplane fleet is meticulously designed to facilitate the transportation of cargo and, in the future, crew to low-Earth orbit (LEO). This multi-mission platform offers customization options to cater to the needs of both domestic and international customers, further enhancing its role in global space operations. Under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract, Dream Chaser has been selected to provide essential cargo delivery, return, and disposal services for the International Space Station.

Dream Chaser showcases its mettle by safely withstanding temperatures exceeding 3,000 degrees during re-entry, all while being cool to the touch mere minutes after landing. The incorporation of the most advanced autonomous flight system, ensuring a minimum 15-mission lifespan, marks a monumental leap forward in space transportation.

Years of dedication have resulted in the creation of a new propulsion and oxidizer-fuel system, a more eco-friendly and responsible approach to space travel.

The inaugural Dream Chaser spaceplane, “Tenacity,” is poised to embark on its initial seven cargo missions to and from the International Space Station, carrying essential supplies such as food, water and scientific experiments. One of Dream Chaser’s groundbreaking features is its capability to safely return critical cargo to Earth at fewer than 1.5g’s, ensuring the preservation of invaluable payloads. This innovative spaceplane offers unparalleled flexibility and can land at any compatible commercial runway worldwide, just like a narrow body commercial airliner.

Setting New Standards for Reusability and Adaptability

Dream Chaser’s high reusability and adaptability set it apart, making it an optimal choice for a wide range of applications while ensuring rapid turnaround times to meet various LEO requirements. The launch for this extraordinary journey is schedule to occur from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Sierra Space’s launch provider, United Launch Alliance (ULA), will carry Dream Chaser into orbit on the second Vulcan Centaur rocket. Tenacity’s maiden resupply mission will culminate with the vehicle’s return, landing at the historic NASA Space Shuttle Landing Facility.

As “Tenacity” embarks on its maiden mission, it sets the stage for a brighter future of space transportation and cooperation, bringing humanity’s dreams of space exploration one step closer to reality.

Learn more about Dream Chaser:

Video Credit: Sierra Space

Duration: 1 minute, 13 seconds

Release Date: Nov. 2, 2023

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