Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Multimedia IconMultimedia

Dream Chaser: The Return of the Spaceplane

Dream Chaser in space

Air Date: 05/10/2016
Run Time: 28:50

Listen to the full show:

Or Download mp3


  • Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President, Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems

Topics: New Horizons, Akatsuki (Planet-C), Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, commercial spaceflight, Pluto, Opportunity, mission status, ESA Budget, human spaceflight, Planetary Radio, Venus, Mars Exploration Rovers, FY2017 NASA Budget, Mars, Juno, Bill Nye, conference report

Support Planetary Radio

We’re back at Space Symposium for a conversation with SNC’s Mark Sirangelo, leader of that company’s effort to build the Dream Chaser. We’ll also hear a few moments of Bill Nye’s session at the annual gathering as he hosted Bernard Foing and Amy Mainzer. Emily lets us sample her “What’s Up in the Solar System” May roundup. Bruce Betts helps Mat Kaplan feel better about missing the transit of Mercury.

The Dream Chaser

NASA / Ken Ulbrich

The Dream Chaser
Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser spacecraft is readied for a tow test at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on Aug. 2, 2013. During the test, a truck towed the Dream Chaser to a speed of 60 mph before releasing it, allowing engineers to test the vehicle's braking and landing systems.

Related Links:

Trivia Contest

This week's grand prizes are Planetary Radio t-shirt, a Planetary Society rubber asteroid, and a 200-point astronomy account!

This week's question:

Approximately how much more massive is the star Sirius A (brightest in the sky) than our sun?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, May 17th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What is the date of the next Mercury transit of the Sun as seen from Earth after the May 9, 2016 transit?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

When was the first recorded observation of Mercury’s transit across the sun, and who made that observation?


The first well-documented observation of Mercury’s transit across the sun was made on November 7, 1631 by Pierre Gassendi, though it may have happened hundreds of years earlier when Ibn Bajjah saw something cross the star.


No trivia contest spoilers please!

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Planetary Radio Search

Planetary Defense

An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.


Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!