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NASA's successor to the Space Shuttle completes tests over dry lake bed

It’s planned the Dream Chaser will be used to transport astronauts to the International Space Station. A trial version of the craft successfully ran through tests yesterday – assisted by an odd-looking helicopter.

DREAM CHASER – THE new spacecraft being developed by NASA to take astronauts to the International Space Station has successfully completed a series of tests in California’s Edwards Air Force Base.

During the 2-hour test, an air-crane helicopter picked up a test version of the Dream Chaser flight vehicle and flew it a distance of three miles over a dry lake bed, reaching heights of 12,400 feet.

According to NASA, “the spacecraft followed the projected path it will fly during future approach and landing tests at Dryden”.

Dream Chaser’s flight computer, along with its guidance, navigation and control systems were tested.
The landing gear and nose skid also were deployed during flight.

The vehicle is designed to carry seven people and land like a plane. Further tests flights are planned for later this year.

The new suborbital and orbital craft is being developed by the Sierra Nevada Corporation, in partnership with the US space agency.

(Youtube: NASAKennedy)

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