Pre-flight – Early on the morning of May 29, near Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Jefferson County, Colorado, technicians readied Dream Chaser for its first flight test.
The chopper – The aerodynamics test required this heavy-lift S-64 Aircrane helicopter to hoist Dream Chaser's 25,000 pounds and fly foward fast enough to mimic an actual flight. NASA's space shuttle weighed about 4.5 million pounds before liftoff, according to the space agency.
Hoisted – Suspended from the helicopter by cables, the spacecraft's wings stretch almost 23 feet, less than a third of the wingspan of NASA's space shuttle, which measured 78 feet.
Captive carry flight test – The Aircrane lifted Dream Chaser to an altitude of about 10,000 feet. Engineers will take data from the test flight to prepare for the spacecraft's first untethered test flight, which is expected this August or September at California's Edwards Air Force Base.
Ready for launch – In this artist's conception, Dream Chaser sits atop an Atlas V rocket ready for liftoff into low Earth orbit.