Europe comes on board NASA’s Dream Chaser spaceplane development

Technology developed in Europe could be utilised on board the Dream Chaser orbital transportation system following the signing of an agreement between ESA and Sierra Nevada Corporation.

The agreement will identify areas of collaboration with European industry for developing hardware and mission concepts for the Dream Chaser, which is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to transport crew to the International Space Station and back to Earth by 2017.

With the aim of developing an economical successor to the Space Shuttle, the Dream Chaser is the only lifting-body vehicle proposed in the programme. It will transport astronauts and critical cargo to low Earth orbit and land like an aircraft on a runway on its return to Earth.

According to SNC, the spacecraft can also serve as a platform for technology demonstrations, construction and repair in space, as well as a platform for crewed and un-crewed scientific missions.

ESA will work with Sierra Nevada Corporation to identify how European hardware, software and expertise can be used to further the capabilities of the Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle.

ESA and SNC will also study the possibilities for creating an industrial consortium including European partners to use Dream Chaser for European missions.
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January 10, 2014



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