Dream Chaser® Spaceplane
Interactive Overview

Known as “America’s Spaceplane®,” SNC’s Dream Chaser spaceplane is a multi-mission space utility vehicle designed to transport crew and cargo to low-Earth orbit (LEO) destinations like the International Space Station (ISS).

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CRS-2

Dream Chaser was selected by NASA to provide cargo delivery, return and disposal service for the space station under the Commercial Resupply Service 2 (CRS-2) contract. It is the only vehicle capable of returning to Earth via runway landing. It uses non-toxic propellants, which means that cargo is immediately accessible upon landing. The spaceplane is reusable at least 15 times.

Starting next year, Dream Chaser will provide a minimum of six cargo missions to and from the ISS. It will carry 5,500 kg of critical supplies such as food, water, and science experiments to astronauts aboard the ISS. It then departs with waste from the ISS, which burns up upon re-entry into the atmosphere in the Shooting Star transport vehicle. Dream Chaser then returns to Earth with a gentle runway landing after which it is prepared for its next mission.

Dream Chaser Tenacity will be the first orbital vehicle in our Dream Chaser spaceplane fleet.

Dream Chaser Features

NASA selected our Dream Chaser spaceplane to provide cargo delivery, return and disposal services for the International Space Station. Under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract, Dream Chaser will provide a minimum of six cargo service missions to and from the space station.

With the help of our Shooting Star transfer vehicle, Dream Chaser can deliver up to 5,500 kg of pressurized and unpressurized cargo to the space station, including food, water, supplies and science experiments and returns to Earth with a gentle runway landing. Dream Chaser can gently return critical cargo at less than 1.5 g’s. The vehicle is designed for high reusability, reducing overall cost and a quick turnaround between missions. The ability to launch on top of multiple launch vehicles and land at a wide variety of runways makes Dream Chaser a flexible option for reliable transportation.

After leaving the space station, the Dream Chaser Cargo System also offers disposal services via the Shooting Star transport vehicle. Once separated from Dream Chaser, Shooting Star burns up safely in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Dream Chaser Cargo System Specific Features Include:

  • Disposable Shooting Star transport vehicle attaches to Dream Chaser, greatly increasing the amount pressurized & unpressurized cargo
  • Ability to provide both disposal services & pressurized cargo return on every mission
  • Innovative folding-wing design allows the uncrewed Dream Chaser to fit inside existing standard launch vehicle fairings, making it compatible with a suite of current & future launch vehicles
  • Solar arrays on the cargo module increase flight time in space & support powered payloads

Dream Chaser was originally designed as a crewed spaceplane, in part under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, capable of carrying up to seven astronauts to and from the space station and other LEO destinations. Dream Chaser is 30 feet, or 9 meters, long which is roughly ¼ the total length of the space shuttle orbiters and can carry up to five crew members.

The crewed version of Dream Chaser is approximately 85% common to the cargo system and has environmental control and life support systems, windows for crew visibility, an integral main propulsion system for abort capability and major orbital maneuvers.

Dream Chaser Space System Specific Features Include:

  • Environmental control, life support system & seating capable of transporting a crew of up to seven & critical cargo to LEO
  • Windows for crew visibility
  • Launches without a fairing on top of a human-rated rocket with the ability to safely abort to a runway in the event of an emergency
  • Integral main propulsion system for abort capability & major orbital maneuvers

The Dream Chaser spaceplane is a multi-mission vehicle that can support a variety of low-Earth orbit needs. Dream Chaser can be customized for both domestic and international customers through vehicle configuration, launch site, destination, landing site, duration and a host of other variables. We have entered into agreements with multiple international space agencies and together we are developing technologies, applications and missions for Dream Chaser-based space systems.

Science
Microgravity laboratory for on-orbit science

Observation
Remote sensing for Earth & space imaging & observation

Manufacturing
Unique microgravity manufacturing & production

Servicing
Satellite servicing, deployment, assembly, retrieval, deorbit & propellant transfer

LEO Transportation
Carries & returns astronauts & cargo to other LEO destinations

SNC is partnering with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to offer UN Member States the opportunity to participate in an orbital space mission utilizing SNC's Dream Chaser space vehicle.

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Dream Chaser serving international locations and partners