(NewsNation) — Sierra Space has completed the first Dream Chaser spaceplane, a craft that could be capable of running robotic resupply missions to the International Space Station.
The company describes Dream Chaser as the first “end-to-end business and technology platform in space.” The vehicle, called Tenacity, is headed to NASA’s Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility in Ohio in coming weeks.
“Dream Chaser is not just a product; it’s a testament to the human spirit, determination and the relentless pursuit of what lies beyond,” said CEO Tom Vice.
The spaceplane is meant to transport cargo and eventually crew to low-Earth orbit. The company has a contract with NASA, which will use the Dream Chaser fleet to supply the ISS. There are seen planned missions to and from the ISS, where Tenacity will deliver food, water and scientific experiments and return other cargo to Earth.
The spaceplane can withstand temperatures above 3,000 degrees during re-entry and has an autonomous flight system. The spaceplane also enters Earth at fewer than 1.5gs on return, protecting sensitive cargo.
Dream Chaser is expected to have a minimum lifespan of 15 missions. It also includes a new propulsion and oxidizer-fuel system that the company says is more eco-friendly than other spacecraft.