Air & Space Museum

NASA HL-20/Dream Chaser®

NASA HL-20/Dream Chaser®

NASA HL-20/SpaceDev/Sierra Nevada/Sierra Space Dream Chaser Mockup

Shortly after the first flights of the Space Shuttle (in the early 1980s), NASA began engineering studies for a smaller spaceplane. If the Shuttle was the big semi-truck taking large cargo into orbit, the HL-20 would be like a more economical van or minibus. NASA had this engineering research mockup built in 1990 by students at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A & T University, but the HL-20 project was canceled shortly afterward.

From there, the story becomes a wonderful example of how research and new technology developed by NASA can be applied and used by anyone. NASA does not patent or restrict use of the technology it develops, and thousands of for-profit businesses have applied this valuable information to create countless new products—including dozens that you use every day.

Fast forward about 14 years, and SpaceDev had begun work to develop the NASA HL-20 into a six-passenger orbital spacecraft, as well as a four-passenger sub-orbital vehicle for space tourism. Their CEO called the project “Dream Chaser.”

By 2010 Sierra Nevada Corporation (now Sierra Space) had begun work on their Dream Chaser, a newer, more refined spacecraft based on the NASA HL-20. Since then, they developed an uncrewed cargo version of Dream Chaser to fly supplies to and from the International Space Station. The cargo version should fly in a few months. A crewed version that can carry up to seven people will follow in a few years.

Length: 29 ft (8.84 m)
Wingspan: 23 ft 6 in (7.2 m)
Mass: about 20,000 lbs (9,000 kg)
Carries more than two tons of cargo (cargo version) or up to 7 people (crewed version)

Air & Space Museum Air & Space Museum

Lowry - Denver

Air & Space Museum

Upcoming Events

Wednesday Feb 21
12:00PM TO 8:00PM
Air & Space Museum

Air & Space Museum Open Late

Air & Space Museum Open Late
Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024 | 12:00PM to 8:00PM

Can’t make it to the museum during the day, or looking for a fun evening out? Experience Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in a whole new light! Our hours for ‘Open Late’ nights are from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Standard admission pricing applies. As always, admission is free for our members. Don’t miss this special opportunity to explore captivating aviation and space exhibits after hours. We look forward to seeing you!

Purchase your tickets now for a memorable night at the museum!

Pre-Purchase Tickets

Wednesday Feb 21
6:00PM TO 7:00PM
Air & Space Museum

Member Tour of the Berlin Airlift Exhibit

Member Tour of the Berlin Airlift Exhibit
Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024 | 6:00PM to 7:00PM

Wings’ members are invited to attend a members-only tour of the new Berlin Airlift exhibit! This tour and Q&A, hosted by Wings’ Collections Manager, Stewart Bailey, will explore the history and significance of the Berlin Airlift. Members can expect to learn more about the stories behind the exhibit as well as get an inside view of how the exhibit was created.

This unique event will be held on Wednesday, February 21 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Air & Space Museum. While the museum will be open to the public until 8:00 p.m., this tour and Q&A is available exclusively to Wings Over the Rockies members and their guests (qualifying membership levels only). Members must pre-register for the tour at the link below.

Pre-Register for the Tour

Not a member? Become one today and sign up here!

Saturday Feb 24
10:00AM TO 2:00PM
Exploration of Flight

Public Safety Day

Public Safety Day
Saturday, Feb 24, 2024 | 10:00AM to 2:00PM

Meet public safety heroes, including firefighters and search and rescue responders, and learn about their roles in keeping the community safe. Check out firetrucks, rescue vehicles, air ambulances and safety equipment up close. Bring the whole family out for a fun and educational day!

Pre-Purchase Tickets

Food Truck: Fajita Junction

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