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Dream Chaser spaceplane updates (thread 2)


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#91 OP DocM

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 19:31

Too much. Guesses run $150-200m. Maybe more.

One of the drivers is that it requires a dual engine Centaur (hydrogen) upper stage, and perhaps a solid, to lift DC or CST-100 to the required orbit. A dual Centaur has never flown before, and its RL-10 engines are not cheap.


#92 OP DocM

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 02:22

http://m.aviationwee...dy-flight-tests

Sierra Nevada On Track For Restart Of Lifting Body Flight Tests

SAN DIEGO Sierra Nevada Space Systems is readying the refurbished engineering test article (ETA) version of its Dream Chaser lifting body vehicle for a new series of flight tests this fall and says assembly of the first space-capable version of the vehicle is on track for an orbital test flight in November 2016.

The company, which is competing with the Dream Chaser against capsule designs from Boeing and SpaceX for a contract to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASAs Commercial Crew Program, is more than 90% through the qualification program.

"We see our vehicle as more of an SUV for servicing of the ISS as well as to make low Earth orbit accessible for all of us," says Sierra Nevada Space Systems President Mark Sirangelo.

Speaking at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space 2014 conference here, Sirangelo says, "We have entered critical design review [CDR] and have completed nine of the subsystems that needed to be done. We have passed a significant group of CDRs on various subsystems ranging from the actuator controls to the cabin full-scale mockup."

Overall Sierra has completed 30 milestones and is more than 92% of the way through the Commercial Crew integrated Capability (CCiCap) contract. Under a recently granted extension, Sierra now has until March 2015 to complete these milestones, rather than the end of August 2014 as previously scheduled.

Sierra also submitted certification documents for the Dream Chaser to NASA and "received the highest grades we could on it," Sirangelo says. The structures for two orbital test vehicles (OTVs) are under assembly at Lockheed Martins Michoud site in New Orleans, with final assembly due to take place at Lockheeds Fort Worth site starting in late 2015. The first vehicle is booked for launch in November 2016 on an Atlas V and will be unmanned. However, two flights are required for certification and a crewed launch will follow in 2017.

Commenting on plans for the upcoming atmospheric flight tests at Edwards AFB, California, Sirangelo says, "We got so much good data [from the first flight on Oct. 26, 2013], we didnt need to do a second flight, even though we had an issue with the vehicle." The vehicle overturned on landing after one of the main landing legs failed to deploy. This was later traced to contamination of the hydraulic fluid, he adds. For the upcoming tests, "We will do between two and five additional flights. A couple will be crewed. As a result of the vehicle being upgraded, we will be flying our orbital flight software, which will give us about a years worth of advancement on the vehicle." Flights are expected to last over a six- to nine-month period, he adds.
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#93 OP DocM

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 05:52

New info,

Charles Lurio (The Lurio Report) is reporting that the DC's liquid fuel will be propane, not ethanol as previously reorted, and that the engine is indeed ORBITEC's Liquid Vortex engine.

#94 OP DocM

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 07:45

http://www.americasp...6395#more-66395

Global Partnerships Pave Path Forward for Private International Dream Chaser For Multiple Purposes

By amassing “global partnerships with 21 space agencies” the private Dream Chaser space plane has a solid foundation and “a path to continue” forward, Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems, told AmericaSpace in Part 4 of our exclusive, one-on-one interview about their efforts to build a cost effective and potentially international version of their ‘astronaut taxi’ to the International Space Station (ISS) as well as multiple exciting missions beyond!

“We have 21 space agencies that have a connection to the program now, which is pretty incredible,” Sirangelo told me. “We have a path with these other relationships to continue.”

“A European or Japanese version of Dream Chaser is possible in the future.”

Dream Chaser’s inaugural launch atop an Atlas V rocket from Florida is slated for Nov. 2016 on an unmanned orbital test flight. Furthermore SNC has already begun building the orbital vehicle and bought the rocket.

Over the past months SNC has laid the foundation for a global expansion through a series of agreements with new international partners including ESA (European Space Agency), DLR (German Aerospace Agency) and JAXA (Japanese Aerospace and Exploration Agency).

SNC has used NASA’s ISS model as the basis for how to build effective global partnerships. And those global space agencies also need to find new ways to pay NASA for maintaining their ISS funding commitments into the future since its longevity was recently extended to at least 2024.

And the international partners may in fact also hold the key to paving the path forward for the Dream Chaser program, regardless of the outcome of NASA’s imminent and momentous downselect decision concerning who wins the contract to build the private ‘space taxis’ aimed at restarting manned blastoffs from US launch pads.

I concluded Part 3 of the Mark Sirangelo interview with this question …. What happens to Dream Chaser if Sierra Nevada does not receive the CCtCAP commercial crew contract from NASA? Do you go ahead anyway or stop?

“We have all the elements to be able to go ahead. Whether we go ahead is a matter of whether there is a business case for it. We can’t say at this time,” Sirangelo replied.

“NASA is an important part of this. But we have been laying the foundation with other relationships as well.”

Here’s how. Europe and Japan can contribute money, technology, launchers and even new variants of the Dream Chaser that could be critical not just to the vehicles viability, but also to the very survival of the ISS itself as well as opening up an array of entirely new mission concepts for science and exploration.

“We are trying to help these global space agencies, help ourselves and also give NASA support for maintaining the ISS as long as possible,” Sirangelo elaborated.

“Dream Chaser is not just designed for the ISS mission. There are multiple uses of the Dream Chaser beyond the ISS.”

Dream Chaser is a winged, manned space plane being developed by SNC to restore America’s indigenous capability to ferry American astronauts from American soil to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station (ISS) – with funding from NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability initiative (CCiCAP) under the auspices of the agency’s commercial crew program.
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#95 OP DocM

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 07:03

Oh, wow....

http://aviationweek....-contract-award

Sierra Nevada To Continue Dream Chaser; May Protest Contract Award

Sierra Nevada Corp. plans to develop its Dream Chaser commercial crew vehicle despite its loss to Boeing and SpaceX in the three-way NASA competition for contracts to take the development to flight test and operations.

The company has built an international network of partners and potential customers, including the European Space Agency (ESA), German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Mark Sirangelo, who heads the company’s Space Systems unit in Louisville, Colorado, said Sept. 25 that Sierra Nevada will bid on the second-round NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-2) contract to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.

He also said the company may file a formal protest of NASA’s decision to reject its commercial crew bid with the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The deadline for a bid protest, which could lead to a reconsideration of the contract awards, is Sept. 26, and Sirangelo suggested Sierra Nevada may have financial and technical grounds for the action. A final corporate decision, in consultation with the company’s lawyers, was planned following a meeting Sept. 25.

Despite the plans to move ahead with development of the Dream Chaser, a lifting-body reusable spaceplane based on NASA’s canceled HL-20 testbed, the company laid off about 90 employees Sept. 24 in response to the NASA decision, which was announced Sept. 17. Sirangelo said those laid off were hired in anticipation of winning the contract, and the slots could be filled again as the development moves forward.

"All the companies submitted an acceptable contract with their proposal, which meant you could start very quickly," Sirangelo said. "Because of that we had to say ‘We can’t wait until contract announcement to start hiring people; we have to go out and start gearing up ahead of time.’ So we did that, and we hired about 120, 130 people who came on board knowing that their jobs were contingent on the win. Those people we did lay off yesterday, but that still leaves a very significant core team."

The layoffs hit about 9% of the company’s Colorado workforce, he said. Over the past five years that workforce has grown from about 200 to more than 1,100, according to company figures.

The company still has NASA funding under earlier phases of the agency’s commercial crew development effort, and that work will continue as planned. Overall, Sirangelo says, Sierra Nevada is in good shape financially to continue Dream Chaser development in association with its partners. In addition to ESA, DLR and JAXA, industrial partners on the project include Lockheed Martin, which has built a flight-hardware composite structure for the first orbital Dream Chaser; United Launch Alliance, which would launch Dream Chaser on an Atlas V; Aerojet Rocketdyne, MacDonald Dettwiler, Jacobs, Moog, Siemens PLM Software, and Southwest Research Institute, according to the company website.



#96 OP DocM

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 21:21

Waiting for official confirmation, but Dean/Florida Today is usually a reliable source,

James DeanDean @flatoday_jdean

Sierra Nevada has protested NASA's commercial crew contract awards to Boeing and SpaceX. @usgao must resolve by Jan. 5.



#97 OP DocM

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 21:28

Here's the published story....

Link....

#98 OP DocM

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 03:38

Looks like DC isn't dead after all!!

Sierra Nevada Corporation to Introduce Dream Chaser® Global Project Spaceflight Program Sept. 30

SPARKS, Nev. (Sept. 29, 2014) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is pleased to announce it will be presenting an overview of its Global Project spaceflight program Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 11:45 a.m. EST at the 65th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Toronto. The Global Project offers clients a unique turn-key spaceflight capability based on SNC’s Dream Chaser crewed space vehicle.

SNC’s Global Project offers clients across the globe access to low Earth orbit (LEO) without the time, resources and financial burden of developing the necessary capabilities or infrastructure to support a mature human spaceflight program. The Global Project utilizes the Dream Chaser spacecraft as a baseline vehicle which, in turn, can be customized by the client for an array of missions to support government, commercial, academic and international goals. The individual mission customization of the Global Project can be applied to both crewed and uncrewed variants for a single dedicated mission or suite of missions.

“The SNC Global Project provides, for the first time in history, an unprecedented and unique set of spaceflight opportunities for clients around the world,” said John Roth, vice president of business development for SNC’s Space Systems. “SNC is offering access to crewed or uncrewed space missions that include an optionally-piloted space vehicle, a launch vehicle or choice of launch vehicles, and the supporting infrastructure and systems required for such a valuable program. The Global Project offers a client the opportunity to leverage and expand its local technology and industrial base by engaging government research and development laboratories, aerospace industry and universities in developing payloads, vehicle modifications, and ground processing capabilities in support of the selected LEO missions. This program will literally make space accessible to people all over the world, enabling those who have only dreamed about going to space to finally achieve it.”

In addition to offering customized access to LEO as part of the Global Project, SNC has also developed a tailored, world-class training program based on NASA’s strict certification standards that includes preparation for crewed flights, payload and vehicle safety operations. Dream Chaser astronauts undergo training at SNC’s Dream Chaser Training Facility and Space Operations Center. Individuals complete pre-flight, ground, payload and mission control training, and obtain mission briefings in addition to other necessary training as determined by the mission. SNC can also assist clients in setting up in-country training programs as needed.

SNC presents more detailed information on the Dream Chaser Global Project at the 65th IAC in Toronto, Sept. 30, 2014 at 11:45 a.m. EST.

The Dream Chaser is a reusable, lifting-body spacecraft capable of crewed or autonomous flight. Dream Chaser is the only lifting-body spacecraft capable of a runway landing anywhere in the world.



#99 OP DocM

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 10:29

Dream Chaser is still working CCiCap commercial crew milestones even though they lost out on the next round, CCtCap. They just completed Milestone 15a, the Reaction Control System firing, and are working towards another free flight.

The recent propulsion plant closure turns out to have been a consolidation, the merging of the SNC and ORBITEC propulsion units.

They've announced an intent to enter the NASA Cargo Resupply Services 2 competition, whose entry deadline was December 2, 2014. The CRS2 competitor selections will be announced on June 10 2015.

Meanwhile, the crewed mini-Dream Chaser (75% scale) is still under consideration at StratoLaunch, powered by Orbital Science's Thunderbolt solid fueled air launcher.

Large image....

34672-thumb-720x340.jpg

#100 OP DocM

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 23:55

Google Translated

http://www.legnostor...am-chaser/11703

AMI and Sierra Nevada sign an agreement for the Dream Chaser

The Italian Air Force has signed in recent weeks an agreement with Sierra Nevada Corp. to collaborate on the development and possible use of the Dream Chaser.L'intesa allow AMI to accelerate the knowledge on space transportation systems technologies and experience in space environment on board the Dream Chaser.Per now were not disclosed further details on the objectives and terms of the collaboration, but what is certain is that more and more stakeholders in this shuttle being developed by Sierra Nevada Corp.

In Europe, agreements have already been signed with the German Space Agency DLR and with the private company OHB, while in Japan an agreement already provides for a collaboration with the Space Agency of the country nipponico. Negli United States, however, after the loss of the race for the contract to support the ISS NASA in 2014, remain ongoing agreements with various parties as Stratolaunch for the development of a common system aviolanciato, Teledyne Brown Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham and BioServe Space Technologies for the scientific use of the shuttle and RS & H for the use of the Dream Chaser in public airports open to commercial traffic.

Source: airpress



#101 OP DocM

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 10:59

This shows it riding an Atlas V552, which is an expensive ride.

Dream Chaser® Cargo System Launches on Atlas V Concept of Operation Video

Published on Apr 6, 2015
Sierra Nevada Corporations (SNC) Dream Chaser® Cargo System is a mission variant of the Dream Chaser Space System that exceeds all NASA cargo transportation requirements to the International Space Station (ISS). The Dream Chaser Cargo System utilizes a reusable, lifting-body spacecraft and is capable of transporting pressurized and unpressurized cargo concurrently - returning cargo and sensitive science payloads to a low-g and gentle runway landing.




#102 flyingskippy

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 16:18

Dreamchaser is cool to look at and all, but its ship has sailed. Just because SNC gives the ship an new look and adds a trunk doesn't mean they are the best means of getting cargo to and from the ISS.

 

Space planes have always been expensive and will always be expensive. From the structure itself,  to the flight control and navigation systems, everything is more complex than on a capsule. And to say it could be used for g sensitive experiments is ridiculous. For the $400 million for the Atlas V ride plus the millions of dollars to develop the project, NASA could invent the technology to transfer the g sensitive experiments results over an ISS workstation.

 

Unfortunately the government is more interested in cost benefit analysis right now than throwing money at any contractor's proposal that comes across its desk.

 

It is time for SNC to go back to the drawing board.... and maybe Boeing too.



#103 OP DocM

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 20:07

If you want to deliver loads of cargo with a big hatch and dispose of junk on the way down nothing beats a big tin can with a CBM: Cygnus, HTV, ATV or Jupiter/Exoliner if it makes the CRS-2 cut.

If you want cargo return for experiments and pressurized cargo for external experiments the Dragon is hard to beat. There's rumors CST-100 May get a trunk too nut that hasn't been shared.

Dream Chaser can't touch them. Its rear hatch is too small and can't be made larger, and the whole trunk idea harkens back to LockMart's early crew exploration vehicle + mission module proposal,

CEV_Lockheed_Martin.jpg

which lasted about 5 minutes.

It may have other niches, including tourism, but an efficient cargo truck it ain't.

#104 OP DocM

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 00:25

Sierra Nevada Corporation and the German Aerospace Center Announce New Dream Chaser® Program Cooperation

SPARKS, Nev. (April 16, 2015) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC’s) Space Systems and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) announce the signing of a new Dream Chaser® program cooperation during the U.S. German Aerospace Roundtable (UGART) at the 31st annual Space Symposium hosted by the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“We highly value our partnership with the German Aerospace Center,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president, SNC’s Space Systems. “This relationship is a great example of the best-in-industry and government agency partnerships, both domestic and international, that we have sought. Our Dream Team will continue the advancement of the Dream Chaser, which is a true global program. We look forward to the next phase of our cooperation with DLR as we enter this new agreement.”

The cooperation, which was entered into today, builds upon the successful one-year Dream Chaser technical agreement signed in 2013. The new agreement, which extends through 2017, will continue the valuable developmental work completed while identifying new and advanced technologies to pursue in order to further advance the crewed and uncrewed Dream Chaser spacecraft as a flexible low-Earth orbit (LEO) space transportation system for a variety of missions and customers. One of the cooperative activities completed this year was the Dream Chaser for European Utilization (DC4EU) study performed by SNC, OHB Systems AG (OHB) and DLR.

“We are pleased to continue to work together with SNC as part of their Dream Chaser team,” said Prof. Jan Woerner, chairman of the executive board of DLR. “We recognize the significant value of the Dream Chaser, especially for LEO and we look forward to working together for new applications. The versatility of the Dream Chaser – crewed or uncrewed - allows for multiple applications such as transportation of cargo and humans as well as direct use for activities such as removing space debris.“

SNC’s Dream Chaser is a multi-mission-capable space utility vehicle that is able to flexibly operate as an independent science platform, logistics enabler or orbital servicing vehicle with the ability to deploy, retrieve, repair, replace, refuel or assemble items in space. Dream Chaser provides the only reusable, lifting-body spacecraft with a commercial runway landing capability, anywhere in the world - offering safe, affordable, flexible and reliable transportation to space.

#105 BetaguyGZT

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 17:09

I'm glad they've found customers who have uses for it. The design is limited, but creativity can compensate for most of that. It's not the Space Shuttle, so that's a good starting point.