WASHINGTON — Sierra Space says it has wrapped up a series of environmental tests of its Dream Chaser cargo spaceplane at a NASA facility in Ohio and is ready to ship the spacecraft to Florida for a launch later this year.

The company announced May 9 that the Dream Chaser spacecraft, named Tenacity, along with its Shooting Star cargo module, completed a series of shock, vibration and thermal vacuum tests in chambers at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility, the former Plum Brook Station in Ohio.

With the tests now complete, Dream Chaser and Shooting Star are ready to ship to the Kennedy Space Center, where the spacecraft will undergo some additional acoustic and electromagnetic testing. Workers will also complete installation of elements of its thermal protection system as well as do payload integration for its upcoming flight.

“Successful completion of an incredibly rigorous environmental testing campaign in close partnership with NASA is a significant milestone and puts Dream Chaser on track for operations later this year,” Tom Vice, chief executive of Sierra Space, said in a statement.

The company has not offered a more specific launch date for Dream Chaser, which earlier this year was scheduled to fly by June. Industry sources now expect a launch in the fall, citing remaining pre-launch work on Dream Chaser as well as the schedule of visiting vehicles to the International Space Station, which include the Crew-9 Crew Dragon mission in late summer followed by a cargo Dragon mission.

That first launch has slipped by several years due to both development delays in Dream Chaser as well as for United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket that will launch the spacecraft. Vulcan made its successful inaugural launch in January and is Dream Chaser is slated to be the rocket’s second launch, which would certify that rocket for carrying national security payloads.

The mission is the first of seven currently under contract to Sierra Space for NASA cargo missions to the ISS. The company is building a second Dream Chaser vehicle, called Reverence, that will be used with Tenacity on those missions and potential other applications. The company has also announced its intent to develop a crewed version of Dream Chaser.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...