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Source: Pixabay

NASA's Dream Chaser Aims To Lower Costs And Increase Reusability

By Brian Spaen

NASA has fully unveiled the Dream Chaser, the space program’s new successor to the retired Space Shuttle. The new space plane will be delivering cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS) that’s orbiting around the Earth. It has the ultimate goal fulfilling six missions between 2019 and 2024.

Dream Chaser is essentially a miniature edition of the traditional Space Shuttles that are aimed to be more reusable. It will be divided into two different horizontal landing vehicles: the Dream Chaser Cargo System and the Dream Chaser Space System. As you’d expect, the “Cargo System” will be holding supplies while up to seven astronauts will fit in the “Space System.”

These new space vehicles are expected to be reused up to 15 times, far more than the partially reusable Space Shuttle. What will help that process is the new horizontal landing process. Similar to aircraft, these planes will land on runways after being launched vertically. It’ll be guided by rudimentary wings that are tilted, making the spacecraft glide when landing. They’ll also be just one-quarter of the size of the old Space Shuttle model.