One of the World’s Most Impressive Spaceplanes Could Be Landing in New Mexico Soon

Dream Chaser will carry out its first NASA mission in 2023 7 photos
Photo: Sierra Space
Dream Chaser SpaceplaneDream Chaser SpaceplaneDream Chaser SpaceplaneDream Chaser SpaceplaneDream Chaser SpaceplaneDream Chaser Spaceplane
The famous Dream Chaser, claiming to be the first and only winged commercial spaceplane in the world, has an officially-approved landing site at the Huntsville International Airport in Alabama, but also a list of several other potential sites. The latest addition to that is Spaceport America.
Sierra Space has developed an unmanned, reusable aircraft claiming to be not only world’s first winged commercial spaceplane, but also one that can land on any runway, anywhere on the globe. The company’s potential was confirmed by a recent contract with NASA for resupply missions to the ISS (International Space Station).

According to Space, the spacecraft builder was hoping to be the one to transport astronauts to and from that location. SpaceX and Boeing were selected for that, instead. But the Dream Chaser will get to deliver cargo, and eventually add crewed flights for clients other than NASA.

While the Alabama site is currently the only landing site for the Dream Chaser that’s approved by FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) this unique spaceplane could also land in other locations around the world, with the Oita Airport in Japan, and Spaceport Cornwall in the UK on its list.

Sierra Space also recently signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Spaceport America, located in southern New Mexico. The two will be working on obtaining a “reentry site operator’s license” from FAA.

Sierra Space is also supporting Spaceport America’s intercollegiate rocket engineering competition, considered the largest event of its kind in the world. The spaceplane builder is a diamond-level sponsor of the Spaceport America Cup, currently taking place until June 25.

Until it will be able to land in New Mexico, the Dream Chaser is gearing up to fly to the ISS next year, carrying up to 12,000 lbs (5,440 kg) of essential cargo. Next year’s mission will be the first of seven cargo deliveries to the ISS conducted for NASA.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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