Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), in cooperation with partners OHB System AG (OHB) and 4Space, has delivered a feasibility report to the European Space Agency (ESA) on using SNC’s Dream Chaser® spacecraft as a platform for European microgravity missions in lieu of the International Space Station (ISS).
The study looked at scenarios for European microgravity missions in LEO on the premise the ISS will eventually be either decommissioned or turned over primarily to commercial operators. The study reviewed technical, programmatic, financial and market aspects of an architecture based on the Dream Chaser.
Known as America’s Spaceplane™, the Dream Chaser can be customized for both domestic and international customers through vehicle configuration, selection of launch vehicle, orbital destination, landing site and a host of other variables. It can also be used as either a free-flyer or a logistics element to serve orbital destinations in LEO. The vehicle’s low-g runway landing is also critical to safely and gently delivering sensitive science and experiments back to Earth.
SNC is currently working with multiple international space agencies and developing technologies, applications and missions for Dream Chaser-based space systems to make space affordable and accessible around the globe.