SNC's Dream Chaser Selected For UN Space Flight

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Sierra Nevada Corp., which is testing a reusable space vehicle for future NASA missions, will partner with the United Nations for a low-orbit flight in 2021. The company’s Dream Chaser folding-wing vehicle, which can land on a runway, was selected for the U.N.’s first spaceflight slated to last two weeks in low orbit. A little-known bureau of the U.N. created in the late 1950s, the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, wants to include developing countries in the growing spaceflight industry. “One of UNOOSA’s core responsibilities is to promote international cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space,” the agency said in its announcement this week. “One of the ways UNOOSA will achieve this, in cooperation with our partner SNC, is by dedicating an entire microgravity mission to United Nations Member States, many of which do not have the infrastructure or financial backing to have a standalone space program.”

Sierra Nevada, headquartered in Nevada with facilities around the country, is among the private companies contracted by NASA to take cargo to the International Space Station between 2019 and 2024. The U.N. partnership will seek sponsors to finance missions while participating countries will pay for prorated costs. Selection of those to take part will be completed in 2018. “At SNC our goal is to pay it forward,” SNC said in a statement. “That means leveraging the creation and success of our Dream Chaser spacecraft to benefit future generations of innovators like us all around the world.”

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