Credit: Sierra Space

Nov. 2, 2023 – Sierra Space, a leading pureplay commercial space company building the first end-to-end business and technology platform in space, today proudly revealed the fruit of years of passionate determination, countless breakthrough innovations and relentless commitment, the remarkable Dream Chaser spaceplane. The first vehicle is complete and will ship to NASA’s Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility in Ohio for environmental testing in coming weeks.

Dream Chaser is a leap forward in space technology, heralded as 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.

“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.

Unparalleled Design and Precision

At the heart of Dream Chaser is an unparalleled design, meticulously crafted with precision. Every curve and contour of this remarkable vehicle is engineered for excellence, seamlessly merging engineering with a beautiful design, and enabling the seamless integration of space travel and hypersonic atmospheric speeds.

Pinnacle of Technological Advancement

Harnessing cutting-edge technology, 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.

Safety as a Cornerstone

Safety remains at the core of the Dream Chaser’s mission. Advanced safety mechanisms fortify the spaceplane, guaranteeing the integrity of the cargo – including sensitive scientific payloads – and the well-being of all those aboard the International Space Station who will interact with the new vehicle.

A Commitment to Sustainability

While we soar towards the heavens in pursuit of dreams, we remain resolutely anchored to our commitment to the planet. Dream Chaser is designed with sustainability as a foundational principle, working toward a better future for all. Years of dedication have resulted in the creation of a revolutionary new propulsion and oxidizer-fuel system, a testament to our pledge to a more eco-friendly and responsible approach to space travel.

Tenacity’s Historic Mission

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 we unveil the Dream Chaser, we invite you to join us on this extraordinary journey. Together, we embark on a new chapter in space transportation, redefining what’s possible and shaping the future of human exploration. Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser spaceplane symbolizes the dawn of a new era in space commercialization – The Orbital Age™, marked by heightened efficiency, extensive reusability and boundless opportunities. 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.

Sierra Space

Source: Sierra Space

Kris Christiaens's Avatar

Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.