A lifting body vehicle modeled after NASA’s 1990s-era HL-20 spaceplane design took a significant step closer to orbital flight following a long-awaited drop test in California, allowing developer Sierra Nevada Corp. to concentrate on a mid-2018 critical design review and ongoing construction of a fourth U.S. spacecraft to service the International Space Station. Following a NASA review of data collected during the 60-sec. glide flight over Edwards AFB in California on Nov. 11, Sierra ...

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