Air & Space Museum
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)
Cockpit Demo Day
Get an up close look inside select aircraft at the museum and learn all about the history of the aircraft, instruments and controls!
Featured aircraft in August:
- Cessna U-3A “Blue Canoe”
- Martin EB-57
- Alexander Eaglerock
- Bede BD-5
- Rotorway Scorpion II
Dream Machine Showcase
Join Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight to see Cirrus aircraft, high-performance sports cars and classic cars!
Aviation Day | Pay As You Wish!
Join us in celebrating the development of aviation this National Aviation Day and PAY AS YOU WISH!
Enjoy special activities including:
- Paper airplane building
- Flight simulator sessions
- Select open cockpits
- Science demos
- Scavenger hunts
- And more!
Your donation helps to support Wings’ mission to educate, inspire and excite all people about aviation and space endeavors of the past, present and future.
National Aviation Day celebrations will also be held at Exploration of Flight at Centennial Airport! Click here to learn more.
Please note: Pricing for MaxFlight and Doron simulator experiences are standard Wings pricing. Pay as You Wish offer is valid on 8/19/22 at both Wings locations. Pre-sale tickets not available for this event. Admission will be available at the door.
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