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More about SpaceDev's Dream Chaser spaceship

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:26 am
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SpaceDev’s Dream Chaser spaceship soars above Earth in this artist’s conception. The design is based on NASA’s HL-20 concept from the 1980s, but would be smaller and lighter.

Déjà vu spaceship: The latest concept for the commercial space race actually goes back to a 15-year-old spacecraft design that was proposed by NASA but rejected by Congress.

NASA’s HL-20 mini-shuttle serves as the inspiration for the new incarnation of California-based SpaceDev’s Dream Chaser, a spaceship that could conceivably send paying passengers on suborbital trips — or even orbital odysseys. The company’s founder, Jim Benson, hinted at the retooled design during an MSNBC.com interview back in August, and today’s news release revealed what he had in mind.

The HL-20 emerged from SpaceDev’s work with NASA’s Ames Research Center to analyze designs for future spaceships. Benson and his team found that the HL-20’s outer mold line seemed to work much better than alternate designs.

“Once we fabricate that, we believe we can be flying four passengers suborbitally in less than two years, for less than $20 million,” Benson told me.

Read more at MSNBC.com

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