Saturday, December 17, 2005

SpaceDev Dreamchaser: Not Just a Dream for Long

SpaceDev, the Poway, California based company responsible for designing and building hybrid propulsion systems, micro and nano satellites and assorted spacecraft accessories, also has its eye on building and then flying a vehicle to and from the International Space Station.
Called Dreamchaser it's a six-passenger spaceplane utilizes lifting body dynamics and is based on the 10-passenger HL-20 personnel Launch System developed by NASA Langley. SpaceDev made the announcement in November and has been busily working on preliminary design specifications and plans multiple manned sub-orbital missions by 2008, and multiple orbital mission by 2010.

So far, Dreamchaser only exists on paper, but given SpaceDev's track record (and record profits), it seems only a matter of time until NASA astronauts are hitching rides to the ISS from them.
After all, these are the same people who designed and built the hybrid rocket motor for what might soon become their closest competitor in the space launch business: Scaled Composites, SpaceShipOne.

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