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Dream Chaser

The Benson Dream Chaser will let a lucky few people in a few short years, do just that - chase their dreams of going to suborbital space. What happens when you cross the NASA and Air Force Bell X-2, North American X-15, and Northrop T-38 vehicles? Why it's the latest rendition of the Dream Chaser of course.

Dream Chaser

The Benson Space Dream Chaser (also called the SpaceDev Dream Chaser) is one of the newest space tourism spacecrafts from Benson Space Company out of Poway, California.

SpaceDev is the developer on the project who also made the critical components for the Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne, which made a historical trip into suborbital space in 2004, winning the $10 million Anasari X-Prize.

Benson Space Company has melded the three vehicles to come up with the optimum spacecraft, instead of going with an earlier model that used the orbital NASA HL-20 lifting body craft. Jim Benson, the head of Benson Space Company has said that the new design is "safer and better."

The new design of the Dream Chaser has also been seen as the optimal spacecraft for the new market of space tourism with many large windows and a less stressful trip for passengers. The Dream Chaser is also more aerodynamic than past mock-ups and is on schedule for its first commercial flight in 2009.

The Dream Chaser is going to be powered by non-explosive hybrid rocket motors, and it will be able to launch vertically and then glide to a landing at the same place where it launched. The new design gives the rocket less drag, so it requires less propulsion from the engines.

After the Dream Chaser reaches about 63 miles, it will return for a re-entry that will subject the passengers to G-forces that are smaller than normal, even when traveling 3,000 mph. Benson believes that his company is ahead of other companies in the space commercialism world because his rocket is so sleek and simple.

While other companies are running into major design issues and getting behind schedule on their launches, the Dream Chaser is right on target. When it comes time to launch the new vehicle, the mission control center will be state of the art.

There will also be a hands-on opportunity for families to get into the Dream Chaser before launch to check it out. They can take a look at the spacecraft that their loved one will be going into space in, which will quell much anxiety on the part of the family.

Near the Dream Chaser, there will also be first-class hotel accommodations and a launch-viewing lounge for the families to sit in while their family member is making history as one of the first people to see the earth from space as a tourist.

Benson Space is currently taking reservations for the Dream Chaser flight, which will cost in the neighborhood of between $200,000 and $300,000. For a fully refundable security deposit of $25,000 you can book your way onto this historic flight today.


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