The Shooting Star transport vehicle attaches to the back of Dream Chaser® spaceplane and holds up to 10,000 pounds of supplies, cargo and experiments for the International Space Station. The module is versatile and may be customized for special mission needs. Upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, it also performs disposal of cargo from the International Space Station.
Shooting Star Transport Vehicle
SNC's Shooting Star is a flexible 15-foot transport vehicle that will be used as an attachment to the Dream Chaser® spaceplane, but also has other applications such as a free-flying spacecraft.
Shooting Star provides substantial payload storage in addition to the pressurized payloads carried in Dream Chaser for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract and facilitates cargo disposal upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Dream Chaser will execute a minimum of six missions to the International Space Station under the CRS-2 contract.
Shooting Star Features
- Up to 10,000 pounds of pressurized & unpressurized cargo
- Solar panels provide 6kw of electrical power to the spacecraft
- Active & passive thermal control
- Dream Chaser translation & rotation capability via six mounted thrusters
- Three external mounting locations for unpressurized cargo
- Berthing & docking capabilities
- Safe cargo disposal services upon re-entry
Shooting Star Variants
CRS-2 Cargo Services
Shooting Star adds a capability for NASA to send additional critical science, food and cargo to the space station. Crew access the Shooting Star via the aft hatch, which berths to the space station. In order to gain access to the Dream Chaser, crew pass through Shooting Star to the forward portion where they can open the hatch into the Dream Chaser. When attached to the space station, Shooting Star provides a normal cabin environment for astronauts to work, and a location for cargo to be removed and placed onto the station after berthing. Initial CRS-2 missions will use berthing to allow better access for outsized cargo but Dream Chaser can also be designed with a docking adapter. Once all resupply cargo is unloaded, the transport vehicle can then be used for crewmembers to stow cargo for disposal.
Shooting Star also offers cargo disposal services for NASA. If intended for this purpose, once separated from Dream Chaser the transport vehicle burns up safely in the Earth’s atmosphere, and Dream Chaser itself glides gently back onto the runway at Kennedy Space Center. Since Shooting Star is disposed of on every CRS-2 mission, SNC will maintain a production line for Shooting Star to support all subsequent Dream Chaser missions.
For additional versatility, Shooting Star can support logistics services to other low-Earth orbit and cislunar destinations. SNC has also developed a variant of a free-flying version that can act as a satellite to carry large payloads, with high-power capacity.