Narrator: It may look like a mini-version of NASA's long-admired fleet of space shuttles, but Sierra Nevada Corporation's agency partner manager says Dream Chaser is more than just a silhouette of America's historical crew transportation system.
Cheryl McPhillips/NASA Partner Manager: Well, there's a lot of unique features about Dream Chaser. It's got the lifting body, which means it has a bigger cross range, which means it can land on a runway. Also, it comes down at lower Gs, so it's a smoother ride. It also has the green propellant technology, which makes it safer for processing on the ground and for turning it around for additional flights.
Narrator: Advances made to Dream Chaser as it's prepared to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V during NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability initiative, or CCiCap, could give it the edge it needs to begin transporting humans to and from low Earth orbit around 2017.
Cheryl McPhillips/NASA Partner Manager: In some ways CCiCap is a continuation of CCDev2. It's just going to advance their crew transportation system farther. So, they made it to a preliminary design review, Sierra Nevada did, during CCDev2. And during CCiCap, they hope to make it to the critical design review, which means they're basically ready to go into manufacturing of the space vehicle.
Narrator: The work the company puts into testing its hardware and showcasing how it would operate and manage missions from launch through orbit and landing will set the stage for a crewed orbital demonstration mission around the middle of the decade.
Source : NASA