Heavenly Bodies – Part III

Wondering how we got here? Click to catch up with Heavenly Bodies – Part I and – Part II Flight without wings On June 4th, 1982, a Kosmos-3M launcher shot BOR-4 serial number 404 out of the atmosphere for the first time. Once in space the vehicle deployed itself into orbit, eight micro-thrusters orienting the tiny craft as it flew. The wings, which had been … Continue reading Heavenly Bodies – Part III

Heavenly Bodies – Part II

Feature Image: X-24 research pilots (L to R) Einar Enevoldson, John Manke, Richard Scobee, Tom McMurtry, Bill Dana, and Michael Love. (NASA photo) Missed Heavenly Bodies – Part I? Catch up here Down to earth By the second half of the 1960s, the future of lifting bodies was looking bright. Thanks to R. Dale Reed’s lightweight M2-F1, followed by the heavyweight M2-F2/M2-F3 and HL-10, NASA … Continue reading Heavenly Bodies – Part II

Heavenly Bodies – Part I

Falling with style Dangling below a thundering 234-UT Chinook helicopter on August 30th, 2017, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser® was lifted 12,500 feet above Rogers Dry Lake to have its flight systems tested. It may have been a rather undignified ride for the small, re-usable spacecraft, but while the Chinook was thrashing at thin air near it’s practical flight ceiling, the Dream Chaser was nearer … Continue reading Heavenly Bodies – Part I