Under that agreement, Sierra Nevada will fly at least six cargo delivery missions for NASA by 2024, agency officials said in the November 11 statement.
Of course, Dream Chaser is not the only mini-shuttle aiming for the stars. The craft was tested using a free-flight method, meaning it was brought up and then released to glide down and land unmanned on a runway, which it did according to plan.
Dream Chaser, which is about a quarter of the size of NASA's old shuttles, was added by NASA previous year as a fourth privately-developed space ferry option.
It's been in development by the Sparks, Nevada, company for more than 10 years. Sierra Nevada representatives announced on Twitter Saturday. He says that the company will carry out the shipment of cargo to the ISS, for the first time this will be done in 2020.
- A mini-shuttle that one day may ferry supplies and astronauts to the space station is one small step closer to space after a successful test flight over the weekend. It is being created to land on runways and then allow crews to access the materials flown back to Earth soon after landing. The Dream Chaser from Sierra Nevada offers more reliable landings than the other two now offer. It will lift off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 booster from Cape Canaveral, and will touch down on the runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But in 2014, NASA didn't pick the Dream Chaser to do crewed flights to the ISS, going with SpaceX and Boeing's proposed vehicles instead.
Along with SpaceX and Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada is under contract from NASA for as many as six cargo flights to the station.
The Dream Chaser last flew in 2013, but a problem with its left landing gear meant it had a hard touchdown, which caused the plane to skid off the runway and sustain minor damage.