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SNC gears up to build spaceship (and space station)

Dream Chaser
Sierra Nevada Corp.’s Dream Chaser atmospheric test vehicle is on display at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Sierra Nevada Corp. is showing off a prototype of its Dream Chaser space plane, but its focus is quickly shifting to building the real thing to send to orbit.

And as if that’s not enough, there’s an orbital power plant and space habitat to work on as well.

SNC executives provided what they promised would be a series of status reports today here at the 34th Space Symposium, in front of the engineering test vehicle for the Dream Chaser program.

The 30-foot-long, stubby-winged plane was built for atmospheric tests, to check the aerodynamics and flight control systems for an autonomous mini-space shuttle that will be capable of ferrying cargo to and from the International Space Station starting in 2020.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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