Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

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.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

(Youtube: NASAKennedy)

Read: Search operation continuing after helicopter crashes near Shetland >

Read: Drones are not just for spying – they spot ancient ruins too >

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

Read next: