Sierra Nevada Corp. Space Systems, based in Louisville, announced this afternoon that the first orbital flight of its Dream Chaser space vehicle is set for Nov. 1, 2016.
The unmanned test mission will launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida and be brought to orbit on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, the company announced from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of Sierra Nevada Space Systems, announced as well that the company will use the Operations and Checkout facility at the Kennedy Space Center to prepare Dream Chaser for its flights and perform post-mission testing.
The company also plans to use NASA's Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida, a spaceport used by the space agency to land the space shuttle until the program ended in 2011.
Dream Chaser, designed to fit seven astronauts, resembles a miniature space shuttle.
The company employs 350 people at its headquarters in the Colorado Technology Center.