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European use of Dream Chaser spaceplane examned


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#1 DocM

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:03

VERY interesting....

DLR = German space agency, responsible for space programs on behalf of the German federal government.

http://www.4-traders...mpany-17459911/

Contract signed with DLR for the study phase for the utilization of U.S. company Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser Spacecraft

OHB System AG and the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) signed an agreement providing for the use of funding from the national space program to finance a study to explore possible uses of the U.S. spacecraft Dream Chaser® developed and owned by U.S. company Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC).

Named DC4EU (Dream Chaser for European Utilization), the project is to explore ways in which the Dream Chaser®can be used to cover German and European requirements for the transportation of payloads and astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and for deployment as a manned or unmanned space vehicle allowing German and European scientists to conduct research under weightless conditions over extended periods of time. Given the capability which the Dream Chaser® has for reaching orbits at a substantially greater altitude than the ISS, the study will determine the extent to which it is able to supply satellites or remove decommissioned satellites from their orbits.

The partner in this project is OHB's Munich-based subsidiary Kayser-Threde, which is developing a payload element for capturing satellites. SNC's Space Systems located in Louisville, Colorado, will be contributing its expertise for these developments and will work with OHB on a program for the long-term deployment of the Dream Chaser by Europe. This project will complement the Dream Chaser work that SNC is doing with NASA in the United States under NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

The project participants intend to explore the potential offered by the Dream Chaser® to achieve more intensive scientific utilization of the ISS and opportunities for high-caliber research in weightless conditions in the post-ISS era. Currently, the members of the ISS program are planning to continue operating the ISS up until 2020 with an option of extending this period.

"Looking forward, DC4EU will provide interested researchers and space agencies with a modern successor to the U.S. space shuttle," says Dr. Detlev Hüser, head of predevelopment of manned space flight at OHB System, going on to say that "a partnership with the United States will allow Germany to continue participating in manned space flight programs even after the decommissioning of the U.S. space shuttle and the ISS".

DC4EU seeks to systematically maintain and expand research under weightless conditions and manned space flight capabilities. The project initially entails infrastructure design in the Dream Chaser. In a further step, a reference Dream Chaser® mission is to be defined in conjunction with SNC.
With this project, OHB System is tapping a substantially larger area of business in commercial space transportation and manned space flight.

For further information, please contact:

OHB System AG
Martin Stade
Head of Corporate Communications
Tel: +49 421 - 2020-620
Fax: +49 421 - 2020-9898
E-Mail: pr@ohb.de

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Space Management
Communications
Tel.: +49 228 447-385
Fax: +49 228 447-386

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)
Krystal Scordo
Marketing Services Manager
Tel.: + 1 720.407.3192
Email: SNCDreamChaser@sncorp.co

DC-Flight-Test.jpg


#2 Beittil

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 14:08

I wonder to what extend laws like ITAR would have effect on deals such as this, I mean... were basically talking about EU countries using the DC with their own crews and for their own purposes.



#3 OP DocM

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 17:52

Good question. I think they've tried to use as much ITAR free content as possible in DC, though the hybrid engines are a question. The hybrids fuel is basically rubber and nitrous is used everywhere too. Liquids would be more troublesome because of the metallurgy. The TPS (heat shield) material isn't that special, and the airframe is composite and that's pretty universal so no fancy metallurgy there either. Avionics, I don't know. It'll be interesting to see how it shakes out.

#4 Beittil

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 22:17

Well, I guess these launches would still take place from the Cape anyway. So it is not like the DC is going to be shipped of to Europe I bet. Crews flying it would still have to become intimately familiar with its system though!



#5 Authentic X

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 22:35

Looks like the plane the  "six million dollar man" crashed in lol



#6 OP DocM

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 23:14

Looks like the plane the "six million dollar man" crashed in lol

The Northrop M2-F2 depicted in 6 Million Dollar Man was also a lifting body design, which means the fuselage is actually the "wing" and the small winglets are just "tail" control surfaces & stabilizers. Most lifting bodies are very similar.

Well, I guess these launches would still take place from the Cape anyway. So it is not like the DC is going to be shipped of to Europe I bet. Crews flying it would still have to become intimately familiar with its system though!

The Dream Chaser is launcher agnostic, meaning it could use any launcher capable of lifting its mass to the desired orbit. As far as Europe goes, the Ariane 5 is easily human rate-able, and at one time was in line to launch the now canceled French/ESA Hermes spaceplane. It's also more than capable of launching the mass of Dream Chaser. If Ariane 5 were used launches would be from the Guiana Space Centre.

#7 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 08:00

I really don't see why there'd be a problem.. Europe and the US are generally good buddies (OK, a bit strained at the moment thanks to the nosey buggers in the NSA/CIA etc, but still), so I don't really see there being much in the way of security issues.



#8 OP DocM

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 10:23

I don't either, plus there's always the option of Sierra Nevada (or a contracted outfit like Space Adventures who handles Soyuz rides) handling all the launch ops as part of a taxi service. ESA or other national agencies would just buy seats, avoiding all the headaches.



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