Dream Chaser Space Plane Passes Landing Test

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But a year ago, NASA awarded a second round of contracts, in order to cover cargo shipments to the ISS from 2019 through 2024.

Saturday's free-flight test "verified and validated the performance of the Dream Chaser in the critical final approach and landing phase of flight, meeting expected models for a future return from the International Space Station", Armstrong officials said, adding that more tests will likely follow.

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During the last two years, SNC has worked to reconfigure the Dream Chaser to make it cargo-only spacecraft, after losing out as entrants in Nasa's commercial crew competition to build spacecraft that would see humans travel to low-Earth orbit and back. Right now, two companies - SpaceX and Orbital ATK - hold contracts with NASA to periodically resupply the station through 2018. The company expects to start cargo missions sometime in 2020.

Sierra Nevada Corp. says its Dream Chaser spacecraft had a successful free-flight drop test in the Mojave Desert during the weekend. It proves that, on a basic level, Dream Chaser can live up to its role as a reusable cargo ship. Unlike a capsule that might land in a remote area, Dream Chaser can quickly return experiments to waiting researchers. The company said several hours after the test that the glide flight was a success, and would release more details November 13.

Search underway for Irish woman missing in France since Wednesday
Eimear Noonan (21) had lived in Annonay in the South East of France where she worked as a teaching assistant in a local school. She has not been since Wednesday, and had not informed work she would be absent on Thursday or Friday.

Main goal of test flight was verifying ability of guidance system for independent flight and landing. Sierra Nevada plans to give more details on the test during a press conference this afternoon.

Quadrilateral Coalition on the Indo-Pacific
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump held discussions on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit . The dialogue is aimed at bolstering their influence over the region against China's expanding presence.

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