LOUISVILLE, Colo. — The primary structure of the Dream Chaser spacecraft has officially arrived in Colorado. Full assembly of the vehicle is about to begin before it departs for the International Space Station in 2021.
“It’s an extraordinary engineering and manufacturing accomplishment,” said Eren Ozmen, chairwoman and president of the Sierra Nevada Corporation. “Our team has been looking forward to this day for a long time so that we can fully assemble America’s spaceplane in preparation for its first mission for NASA.”
The primary structure was unveiled at a news conference at Sierra Nevada Corporation’s production facility in Louisville, Colorado.
Once it’s completely built, the spaceship will be able to deliver up to 12,000 pounds of critical cargo as well as scientific tools and items to the International Space Station.
“This vehicle is being designed to go at least 15 times into space. The space shuttle discovery went into space 39 times,” said Steve Lindsey, former NASA astronaut and space shuttle commander.
The goal is to have the spacecraft beat Discovery’s record.
Dream Chaser will be locked away in the Louisville facility as engineers continue to piece it together.
“We’re [NASA] very happy to have this structural element in Colorado today and excited for our continued partnership with Sierra Nevada in the future,” said Kirk Shireman, NASA, International Space Station Program Manager.