Sierra Space’s uncrewed cargo spaceplane is set to embark on its demo mission in 2024 as part of NASA’s commercial resupply services.
The Dream Chaser cargo system, crafted by Sierra Space in Colorado, comprises two key components: the Dream Chaser spacecraft built for up to 15 reuses, and the Shooting Star cargo module, a reusable lifting body spacecraft derived from NASA’s HL-20 developed in Virginia.
The cargo module Shooting Star, is designed for transporting pressurized and unpressurized cargo to and from the Space Station. It is a one-time-use module disposed of before re-entry.
For liftoff, the Dream Chaser system, including its folded wings, will be enclosed in a five-meter fairing and launched atop a ULA Vulcan Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
The fairing panels, protecting the spacecraft during ascent, are discarded in orbit. Solar arrays on the cargo module and Dream Chaser wings deploy autonomously during the rendezvous with the space station.
Additionally, Dream Chaser can be prepared for launch within just 24 hours in case of a scrub.
Image credit Sierra Space