The Dream Chaser used an onboard autonomous guidance computer to line up with the runway and land, deploying two main landing gear wheels and a front nose skid. The company says it will release more information about the test Monday afternoon. The stunt, done at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, is known as a free-flight test and is meant to test out the vehicle's landing capabilities.
According to Nasa, the flight test "helped advance the vehicle under Nasa's Commercial Crew Program space act agreement, as well as helped prepare the vehicle for service under Nasa's Commercial Resupply Services 2 program".
In previous tests in 2017, a helicopter carried the Dream Chaser aloft but did not release it.
European Union member states sign declaration of intent for increasing defense cooperation
Ms Mogherini, EU military chiefs and the European Defence Agency will then evaluate whether the plans are being respected. Mrs Mogherini said the move would not only complement Nato's security aims but fill in gaps in the Atlantic alliance.
The unmanned craft is created to launch atop a rocket and shuttle cargo and supplies to the International Space Station, and then return to land on a runway with experiments and samples from the space station. But in 2014, NASA didn't pick the Dream Chaser to do crewed flights to the ISS, going with SpaceX and Boeing's proposed vehicles instead. But a year ago, NASA awarded a second round of contracts, in order to cover cargo shipments to the ISS from 2019 through 2024. A company called SpaceDev resurrected the design, but after its founder left to form a space tourism company, SpaceDev was purchased by Sierra Nevada in 2008.
The Dream Chaser is a fairly unique vehicle compared to the other two companies' spacecraft. The Soviet program included several successful space tests, including a scaled-down version of the envisioned spacecraft, the BOR-4, launched in 1982. It will lift off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 booster from Cape Canaveral, and will touch down on the runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.