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The Dream Chaser cargo plane will go into full production



One private space company that has worked on commercial spacecraft to take cargo into space and onto the ISS is the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). The spacecraft that SNC has been working on for years is called "Dream Chaser," and looks very similar to the smaller Space Shuttle.

Dream Chaser will have its first mission in 2020, and in front of the mission, the company has announced that it has passed the final milestone for the Commercial Resupply Services contract 2. That means that the spacecraft is set to move to full-scale production.

Finally, Dream Chaser will be used to transport cargo to the ISS. Dream Chaser was originally a concept vehicle for NASA's commercial crew program, but NASA chose to go with offers from SpaceX and Boeing instead. In the cargo ship version, the spacecraft has folding wings and can carry more than 12,000 pounds of cargo into space and bring more than 4,000 pounds back.

SNC was awarded a commercial cargo contract that guaranteed at least six missions to the ISS. SpaceX and Orbital ATK each have a similar contract. Some of the components needed for a full-scale Dream Chaser spacecraft have been produced and tested.

SNC has stated that they hope that most will be completed with the assembly and testing of the first Dream Chaser in October. All private companies involved with NASA in cargo and crew contracts aim to reduce the cost of space missions.


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