Dream Chaser Demo-1
Cargo Dream Chaser at IAC2018.jpg
Scale model of the Dream Chaser Cargo System with the Shooting Star module
NamesSNC Demo-1
Mission typeISS resupply
OperatorSierra Nevada
Mission duration82 days (planned)[1]
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftDream Chaser Tenacity
Start of mission
Launch dateSummer 2023[2]
RocketVulcan Centaur VC4L[3]
Launch siteCape Canaveral, SLC-41
ContractorUnited Launch Alliance
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Berthing at ISS
Berthing portHarmony nadir or Unity nadir
← Dream Chaser Drop Test 2
Dream Chaser CRS-1 →

SNC Demo-1, also known as Dream Chaser Demo-1, is the planned first flight of the Sierra Nevada robotic resupply spacecraft Dream Chaser to the International Space Station (ISS) under the CRS-2 contract with NASA. The demonstration mission is planned for launch in Summer 2023[2] on the second flight of the ULA Vulcan Centaur rocket.[1][4] Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) developed a new reusable spacecraft to provide commercial cargo resupply services to the International Space Station (ISS), based on decades of lifting body programs. Under the Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) program, SNC designed Dream Chaser with industrial partner Lockheed Martin. SNC also designed the accompanying Shooting Star cargo module with subcontractor Applied Composites.[5] At the end of mission, the Shooting Star will destructively reenter the atmosphere and the Dream Chaser will land at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility.


The Dream Chaser Cargo System will fly cargo resupply missions to the ISS under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services-2 program. This system features the Shooting Star, an expendable cargo module with solar panels, and the Dream Chaser, a reusable lifting body capable of returning 1,750 kg (3,860 lb) of pressurized cargo to Earth while undergoing maximum re-entry forces of 1.5 g.[6][7]

The Dream Chaser design is derived from NASA's HL-20 Personnel Launch System spaceplane concept from the 1990s, which in turn is descended from over 20,000 hours and six decades of experimental lifting body vehicles, including the X-20 Dyna-Soar, Northrop M2-F2, Northrop M2-F3, Northrop HL-10, Martin X-24A and X-24B, and Martin X-23 PRIME.[8][9][10][11]

The vehicle to be used in SNC Demo-1 is named Tenacity.[12][13] The Shooting Star carries pressurized and unpressurized cargo, and serves as the power supply for the Dream Chaser.[7] The Shooting Star will have a cargo capacity of 4,536 kg (10,000 lb). Its design is similar to the Exoliner cargo container shown in Lockheed Martin's Jupiter proposal for NASA's CRS-2.


SNC Demo-1 is the Dream Chaser demonstration mission under the Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contract with NASA. Production and integration of the Dream Chaser spacecraft is performed in Texas, Colorado, and Florida. The Dream Chaser is mated with the Shooting Star at the launch site, and mission operations are conducted from control centers in Colorado and Houston, Texas. Sierra Nevada selected ULA's Vulcan Centaur as its launch vehicle for this Demo-1 mission and the six contracted NASA CRS-2 missions.[14][15][4]

See also


  1. ^ a b Zak, Anatoly [@RussianSpaceWeb] (2 September 2020). "Source: The first mission of Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser winged orbiter -- American incarnation of the Soviet Spiral space plane -- was penciled for a cargo delivery to #ISS from September 14 to December 5, 2021" (Tweet). Retrieved 2 September 2020 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b Jeff Foust [@jeff_foust] (19 September 2022). "Sierra Space's Janet Kavandi says in a panel session on the Orbital Reef commercial space station that the first flight of Dream Chaser is now planned for next summer" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ "Vulcan". United Launch Alliance. 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2022. Peregrine will fly on a VC2S, Dream Chaser will fly on a VC4L.
  4. ^ a b Bergin, Chris (16 October 2019). "Cargo Dream Chaser solidifies ULA deal for Vulcan". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  5. ^ "SNC'S Dream Chaser® Spaceplane's Shooting Star Arrives in Colorado for Integration" (Press release). SNC. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Sierra Nevada Hopes Dream Chaser Finds "Sweet Spot" of ISS Cargo Competition". SpaceNews. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b Gebhardt, Chris (19 November 2019). "SNC Names Dream Chaser cargo module". NASASpaceFlight.com.
  8. ^ H. Phillips, Edward (15 July 1991). "Langley Refines Design, Begins Human Factors Tests of Personnel Launch System". Aviation Week & Space Technology. p. 52. ...The HL-20's baseline design has evolved from manned lifting bodies flown for the Defense Dept, during the 1960s and owes much of its overall layout to the Martin X-24A...
  9. ^ R. Dale, Reed (1997). "Wingless Flight The Lifting Body Story" (PDF). NASA. p. 180. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 December 2014. ... The NASA lifting-body program has been well documented in about 100 technical reports on the program's 222 flights and 20,000 hours of wind-tunnel tests. Many of these publications are unclassified. The Soviet Union purchased copies of these reports from NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., then designed its own lifting body. In 1982, the Soviets flight-tested an unpiloted, 10-foot-long, subscale version of their lifting body, the BOR-4, including a maneuvering re-entry over the Indian Ocean from space orbit. The flight test of the BOR-4 closely resembled that of our PRIME (X-23) vehicle in 1966... Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. ^ R. Asker, James (24 September 1990). "NASA Design for Manned Spacecraft. Draws on Soviet Subscale Spaceplane". Aviation Week & Space Technology. p. 28. ... A mock-up of the proposed "space taxi", called the HL-20 Personnel Launch System, closely resembles a Soviet subscale spaceplane flown on four orbital missions in the 1980s... However, Piland, chief of the space systems division at the Langley Research Center, was quick to point out the Soviet test vehicle seems to have evolved from U. S. lifting-body configurations flown from 1966 to 1975 — such as Northrop's HL-10, M2-F2 and M2-F3 and Martin's X-24A and X-24B...
  11. ^ Wallace, Lance E. (1996). "Flights of Discovery: 50 Years at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center" (PDF). NASA. p. 72. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 February 2015. ... The lifting-body program came to an official end in 1975. Yet like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the concept has appeared several times since then in proposed NASA spacecraft. When the Langley Research Center revealed its HL-20 design for an emergency crew return vehicle or small mini-Shuttle in 1990, the shape was remarkably similar to the HL-10 and X-24A designs... Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  12. ^ "SNC's Dream Chaser Tenacity Spaceplane" (Press release). SNC. 1 May 2020. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  13. ^ Reed, Nola Taylor (12 August 2020). "Meet 'Tenacity': 1st Dream Chaser space plane gets a name". SPACE.com. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  14. ^ "SNC selects ULA for Dream Chaser spacecraft launches". United Launch Alliance (ULA). 14 August 2019.
  15. ^ Foust, Jeff (14 August 2019). "SNC Selects ULA Vulcan for Dream Chaser Missions". SpaceNews.