World’s first commercial space plane is getting nearer to takeoff

  • The Dream Chaser is the world’s first commercial space plane
  • It can fly in space and land on conventional runways
  • The space plane will take its first flight in a NASA mission

Published on May 25, 2024 at 11:29 AM (UTC+4)
by Siddharth Dudeja

Last updated on May 25, 2024 at 11:29 AM (UTC+4)
Edited by Nalin Rawat

The Dream Chaser DC-100 by Sierra Space is the world’s first winged commercial space plane.

And it’s getting ready to take off as part of a NASA mission.

That’s right — a commercial space plane, which means an aircraft that could be used for space tourism and crucial space missions.

Well, it’s not going to take on tourists just yet because its initial flights will consist of essential cargo transport missions to space.

READ MORE: Autonomous ‘flying truck’ is teaching aircraft how to taxi on their own

Sierra Space, in joint operations with NASA, will use the Dream Chaser to transport goodies from Earth to the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA’s specific Dream Chaser for these missions, dubbed ‘Tenacity,’ will deliver 7,800 pounds of food, water, and supplies to the space station.

Moreover, the plane will stay at the ISS for around 45 days.

But why is a commercial space plane taking part in space missions?

Well, it’s in the initial stages and will have to prove its worth first.

Since it’s a reusable aircraft, the space agency will use it for at least seven trips to the ISS.

NASA recently completed testing the Dream Chaser by running temperature, pressure, and vibration tests on the aircraft.

The Dream Chaser is certainly an extremely capable aircraft, similar to NASA’s X-37B space plane.

That’s because unlike other pieces of machinery that go to space, it can fly like an airplane, taking off and landing on a typical runway.

It’s mostly because it also has wings like your average airplane.

Sierra Space first unveiled the space plane in 2022, revealing that it partnered with Blue Origin and Virgin for its development.

Now, two years later, the aerospace company is ready to deliver on its contract with NASA.

The most recent update is that the plane is sitting inside NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to the space agency.

After a few more tests and simulations, the ‘Tenacity’ Dream Chaser will be ready for take-off soon.

Moreover, if everything goes according to plan, it will soon take its first flight to space aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Vulcan rocket from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

It will be interesting to see how a space plan fairs when it’s in space.

# Tags - Airplanes, NASA, Space


Siddharth Dudeja

Siddharth is a tech nerd with a secret love of all things cars. He has been writing for a few years now, and on his free time you would find him gaming when he's not procrastinating.