Sunday, January 26, 2014
Shuttle replacement gets 2016 launch date
The Dream Chaser mini-shuttle is due to undertake its maiden voyage on November 1st, 2016.
The small winged vehicle is set to actively replace NASA's space shuttles by giving America the ability to once again send astronauts in to space without having to rely on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.
Developed by the Sierra Nevada Corporation in conjunction with NASA, the Dream Chaser is 9m long and looks a lot like a small space shuttle. It will launch from Florida's Kennedy Space Centre atop an Atlus V rocket and can carry up to seven astronauts in to low-Earth orbit before returning to the Earth.
The Dream Chaser's maiden unmanned voyage is set to take place on November 1st 2016 with a manned mission to follow the year after. It is one of three shuttle replacements currently in development which also include Boeing's CST-100 capsule and the SpaceX Dragon.