In Pictures: Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser Aces Glide Test Flight


Ken Ulbrich/NASA

On Nov. 11, 2017, the Sierra Nevada Corporation performed the successful free-flight test of the Dream Chaser space plane. Click the arrows at left to see photos from the successful test here. See video of the glide test here.



The glide test success indicates the program is one step closer to orbital exercises.

Ready for Testing

Ken Ulbrich/NASA

The spacecraft was moved from inside the facility by a transport to prepare for the test.

Gear in Place

Ken Ulbrich/NASA

Apparatus attached atop the Dream Chaser enabled a helicopter to raise the craft for the release and flight.

Up and Away

Ken Ulbrich/NASA

The full scale Dream Chaser craft, shown here lifted by a Columbia Helicopters Model 234-UT Chinook helicopter, flew a pre-planned flight path after its release.

Safe and Secure

Ken Ulbrich/NASA

The successful test flight ended at Edwards Air Force Base on Runway 22L.

Big Plans

Ken Ulbrich/NASA

The first trip to the International Space Station for the Dream Chaser is planned for 2020.

Practicing for the Big Journey

Ken Ulbrich/NASA

The Dream Chaser is scheduled for at least six missions under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract, beginning as early as 2020.



This atmosphere Free-Flight test verified the craft has the design and capabilities to return and land safely.



Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser has displayed the ability to provide safe and reliable orbital flight, according to corporate vice president, Mark Sirangelo.

Approaching the Runway


With NASA on board, Sierra Nevada Corporation will analyze the test data.

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Christine Lunsford
Producer and Contributing Writer

Christine Lunsford joined the team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.