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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Space Taxi Launching Test Flight In Summer Of 2012

October 12, 2011

Officials said on Tuesday that a NASA-backed space taxi will be making a high-altitude test flight next summer.

Sierra Nevada Corp.’s “Dream Chaser” is one of four space taxis being developed that have had support from government funding.

The seven-seat space plane will be carried into the skies by WhiteKnightTwo, a carrier aircraft for Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.

Ed Mango, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, said at a community briefing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida that the test flight will take place from either Edwards Air Force Base in California’s Mojave Desert, or from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

“The Dream Chaser Program successfully executed all of its CCDev1 milestones on time and on budget,” Mark Sirangelo, head SNC’s Space Systems, said in a press release.  “We are proud to be a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program as it continues to be a powerful driving force in making American commercial human spaceflight a reality.”

NASA hopes successful implementation of this project will see it send astronauts to the International Space Station and back to Earth as soon as 2016.

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Source: RedOrbit Staff & Wire Reports