Re: Actually not much like the Shuttle at all
"Of course, the idea of a lifting body space plane isn't a US invention, it is a copy of an idea the Russians were trialling in the 1980s."
If the Russians played with lifting bodies in the eighties, then THEY were the copyycats.
"The original idea of lifting bodies was conceived about 1957 by Dr. Alfred J. Eggers Jr., then the assistant director for Research and Development Analysis and Planning at what later became the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA"
"In 1962, FRC Director Paul Bikle approved a program to build a lightweight, unpowered lifting body as a prototype to flight test the wingless concept. Construction was completed in 1963"
All this research made it possible to create the DreamChaser without having to spend large amounts of money on aerodynamic research. Basically they picked up a dropped NASA project,