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Posted 16 April 2011 - 22:56
Posted 02 May 2011 - 21:43
Sierra Nevada Details Drop Plan For Dream Chaser
LOS ANGELES —Bolstered by its recent second-round NASA Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDev2) win to continue development of the Dream Chaser spaceship, Sierra Nevada Corp. is revealing new details of its plan to conduct full-scale drop tests in 2012 using the Scaled Composites-developed WhiteKnightTwo mothership.
The atmospheric drop test of the full-scale vehicle, expected sometime in the second quarter of 2012, will asses handling qualities as well as stability and control during an unpowered descent to a conventional runway landing. The design of the low-speed flight control system is being fine-tuned after drop tests of a scale model were conducted in December at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center from a helicopter hovering over the dry lakebed at Edwards AFB, Calif.
Posted 03 May 2011 - 13:24
Posted 26 May 2011 - 12:38
Posted 24 June 2011 - 07:09
Posted 07 July 2011 - 03:02
Posted 08 July 2011 - 01:48
NASA Signs Commercial Space Agreement With Sierra Nevada
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is entering into an agreement with Sierra Nevada Space Systems (SNSS) of Sparks, Nev., to offer technical capabilities from the center's uniquely skilled work force.
The umbrella space act agreement is Kennedy's latest step in its transition from a historically government-only launch complex to a multi-user spaceport. Sierra Nevada also has space act agreements with NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston; NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.; NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif.; and NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
"We're pleased that our partner Sierra Nevada is going to make use of the deep resources existing at the Kennedy Space Center to enhance its ongoing work," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "Sierra Nevada's agreements with Kennedy and other NASA centers demonstrate its commitment to using the full resources of NASA as the agency facilitates commercial cargo and crew capabilities to the International Space Station."
Kennedy will help Sierra Nevada with the ground operations support of its lifting body reusable spacecraft called "Dream Chaser," which resembles a smaller version of the space shuttle orbiter. The spacecraft would carry as many as seven astronauts to the space station.
Through the new agreement, Kennedy's work force will use its experience of processing the shuttle fleet for 30 years to help Sierra Nevada define and execute Dream Chaser's launch preparations and post-landing activities.
"The partnership is an effort to bring new commercial space activities to the center and help transition Kennedy from a government, program-focused, single user launch complex to a diverse, multi-use spaceport, enabling both government and commercial space providers," said Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana.
In 2010 and 2011, Sierra Nevada was awarded grants as part of the initiative to stimulate the private sector in developing and demonstrating human spaceflight capabilities for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The goal of the program, which is based at Kennedy, is to facilitate the development of a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability by achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the space station and future low Earth orbit destinations.
"Our Dream Chaser vehicle was born at NASA, and NASA has continued to be an important partner in the vehicle's development," said Mark Sirangelo, head of SNSS. "By adding the Kennedy Space Center, with its highly experienced technical staff and world-class facilities, to the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser Program we blend the best of both the NASA shuttle heritage alongside the best of industry practices."
NASA also has space act agreements with other commercial partners under the agency's Commercial Crew Program. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has agreements with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., for development of the J-2X upper-stage engine; NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for hardware assurance testing; and NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, for propulsion related technology development. Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) in Hawthorne, Calif., has agreements with Marshall for engineering development work, and Orbital Sciences Corp. in Dulles, Va., has agreements with Marshall and Stennis for AJ-26 engine engineering support.
For more information about Kennedy, visit:
For information about NASA's commercial transportation programs, visit:
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Posted 08 July 2011 - 23:19
NASA's Kennedy Space Center signed a deal today to let Sierra Nevada Corp. use its facilities to develop and launch a mini-shuttle for servicing the International Space Station, beginning as early as 2015.
"This is a really great step toward a bright future for us," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said at the signing, which took place in the Florida space center's briefing room.
"We are going to transform human space flight for future generations," Cabana said.
Update for 6 p.m. ET:
Sierra Nevada's Sirangelo discussed the deal in more depth with me during an interview this afternoon. Among other things, he told me that the Dream Chaser could be launched atop an Atlas 5 from California as well as from Florida, and it could land on any runway. If it happened to land in California, or anyplace else, that's no big deal. "It returns home in a cargo plane," Sirangelo told me. The mini-shuttle is compact enough to fit within a C-5 transport plane, he noted.
He suggested that the Dream Chaser couldmtouch down in, say, Madison to deliver fresh experimental samples to a lab at the University of Wisconsin — or make a landing at the EAA AirVenture air show to give the crowds a thrill. A spaceship coming to your hometown ... how's that sound as a way to build interest in the space program?
Stay tuned for more from Sirangelo and other players in the commercial space race next week, once I transcribe my notes.
Posted 09 July 2011 - 03:17
Posted 29 July 2011 - 12:46
Posted 30 July 2011 - 20:52
Posted 02 August 2011 - 02:26
SNC’s Space Exploration Systems product line is changing how space is accessed, explored, and utilized through commercial means. With its broad technology base, depth of capability, and human spaceflight expertise, Space Exploration Systems is continually advancing systems and technologies to support the future of human spaceflight.
The focus of the Space Exploration Systems (SES) product line is the Dream ChaserTM Space System (DCSS). The Dream ChaserTM Space System is on the forefront of the commercial human spaceflight industry, offering safe, reliable, and cost effective crew and cargo transportation to low Earth orbit. The Dream ChaserTM Program’s primary mission is to provide the United States with human spaceflight capability by transporting up to seven crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and returning both crew and cargo safely to Earth.
SNC's Space Systems is currently working with the NASA Commercial Crew and Cargo Office on the Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Program to develop and configure the system for ISS servicing. In parallel, SNC has signed a memorandum of understanding with United Launch Alliance (ULA) and is evaluating man-rating the Atlas 5 launch vehicle and configuring it for use with Dream ChaserTM to provide a launch configuration based on the exceptional heritage of the Atlas family of launch vehicles.
Dream ChaserTM Space System Features:
- Reusable lifting-body spacecraft carries up to seven crew and cargo to and from low Earth orbit
Including the transportation of NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station
- Vehicle design derived from NASA’s HL-20 , which has years of development, analysis, and wind tunnel testing by the Langley Research Center
- Launches vertically on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V Launch Vehicle
- Capable of free flight in low Earth orbit and of docking to the International Space Station & other orbital destinations
- Low-g reentry (< 1.5 gs) protects crew & science experiment return samples
- Low-impact horizontal landing on a conventional runway
- Large cross-range with frequent landing opportunities
- Exceptional crew safety features, such as non-toxic propulsion systems
- On-board propulsion system derived from SNC’s SpaceShipOne & SpaceShipTwo hybrid rocket motor technology
- Designed for simple maintenance and quick turnaround
- Winner of Two NASA Commercial Crew Development Awards, totaling $100 Million
Space Exploration Systems has successfully completed all Commercial Crew Development Program milestones on time and within budget
Dream ChaserTM - Hybrid Propulsion:
- SNC’s Space Systems Proven Hybrid Rocket Propulsion Technology has:
Over 10 years of development
Over 300 firings
- Heritage Includes the SpaceShipOne & SpaceShipTwo Rocket Motors
- A Dream ChaserTM Full Mission Profile Hot Firing Demonstrated the Motor’s Vacuum & Restart Capability
- Dream ChaserTM Uses Safe, Non-Toxic, Storable, & Human Flight Tested Propellant
Posted 11 August 2011 - 05:51
Posted 15 August 2011 - 15:27