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Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser to go to orbit on November 1, 2016

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If Serra Nevada, a company that is developing a crewed spacecraft called the Dream Chaser under NASA’s commercial crew program, is correct the first scheduled flight since the end of the space shuttle program of an American made space vehicle capable of carrying passengers will occur on November 1, 2016.

The company made this announcement in a January 23, 2014 press release.

The spacecraft will lift off from Cape Canaveral on top of a United Space Alliance Atlas V. The Dream Chaser is one of three competing space vehicles, along with the SpaceX Dragon and the Boeing CST-100, that are vying to take crews to and from the International Space Station. While the other two space craft are capsules, designed to be launched and landed vertically, the Dream Chaser is a lift body space craft. It will launch vertically, but then land horizontally much like the space shuttle orbiters used to do.

Mark R. Whittington is the author of Children of Apollo, The Last Moonwalker and Other Stories, and The Man from Mars: The Asteroid Mining Caper

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