Mini-shuttle Dream Chaser company Sierra Nevada made its first successful landing. In a free flight the device set off on November 11, 2017.
Dream Chaser was raised from the aerodrome of the Armstrong Research Center at Edwards, California, on a 60-meter cable with a helicopter to a height of about 3,000 km, after which it was released. The device successfully landed at the Edwards Base airfield on the runway 22L, which was once used to land the Space Shuttle.
Representatives of Dream Chaser reported that the landing was successful. The chassis was regularly released. During the test, the aerodynamic characteristics of the mini-shuttle, the operation of the onboard software and control systems were checked.
Dream Chaser is supposed to be used to deliver cargo to the ISS. It is expected that flights to the orbital station will begin in 2019. It is planned that by 2024 the mini-shuttle will make at least 6 flights to the ISS and back. The Dream Chaser will be launched by an Atlas 5 launch vehicle from the cosmodrome at Cape Canaveral. The mini-shuttle will return to the Kennedy Space Center. To the orbit, it will be able to output up to 5.5 tons of equipment.
Previously, the device Dream Chaser already dumped for testing. In 2013, the mini-shuttle was raised to a height of about 4 km, but when landing it did not leave the landing gear, and it was damaged.