Air & Space Museum

Dream Chaser®

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

Saturday Oct 1
8:00AM TO 11:00AM
Exploration of Flight

Breakfast Fly-In

Breakfast Fly-In
Saturday, Oct 1 | 8:00AM to 11:00AM

Join Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight for monthly fly-ins featuring planes, pilots and breakfast!

On the first Saturday of every month, enjoy breakfast from a local food truck, watch aircraft fly in and explore interactive exhibits and simulators.

Pre-purchase tickets

Featured Food Truck in October: Cruz In & Eat

Please note: Food purchases are not included in admission.

Pilots – Fly in for free breakfast! For tie-down space, contact Flight@WingsMuseum.org or 303.360.5360 ext 160.

Saturday Oct 8
10:00AM TO 2:00PM
Exploration of Flight

Cirrus Aircraft Showcase

Cirrus Aircraft Showcase
Saturday, Oct 8 | 10:00AM to 2:00PM

Join Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight to see what’s new at Cirrus Aircraft!

Check out various models of the SR20 and SR22 aircraft and meet the pilots who own and fly Cirrus. Plus, take a peek inside the exciting Vision Jet!

Pre-Purchase Tickets

Saturday Oct 22
10:00AM TO 4:00PM
Air & Space Museum

Aviation Merit Badge Program

Saturday, Oct 22 | 10:00AM to 4:00PM

Earn your Aviation Merit Badge!

Come and learn about aviation basics. Plot your course or flying adventure without ever leaving the ground. Build a glider from a foam plate and experience the Wings Over the Rockies Flight Simulator Room.

This class is included in museum admission. Adults can sit in if space is available. Adults should not register for the class but must pay the museum entry fee.

Register Here

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