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SNC Dream Chaser (DC with a door?)


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#31 neoadorable

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:04

Very glad milestones are consistently being met, this is encouraging.


#32 OP DocM

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 23:21

http://www.nasa.gov/..._milestone.html

Sierra Nevada Delivers Flight Test Vehicle Structure

One of NASA's industry partners, Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC), recently delivered the primary structure of its first Dream Chaser flight test vehicle to the company's facility in Louisville, Colo., where it will be assembled and integrated with secondary systems. This is one of 12 milestones to be completed under SNC's funded Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP).

"It's rewarding to see our partner's ideas and concepts come to fruition," said CCP Program Manager Ed Mango. "The company's delivery of its flight structure will allow them to make more strides toward launching NASA astronauts on American vehicles to the International Space Station."

The Dream Chaser flight test vehicle, a full-scale prototype of the company's planned winged spacecraft, will be used to carry out several remaining NASA Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) milestones, including a captive carry flight and the first free flight of the craft.

"SNC is proud to have met its schedule and cost targets in the delivery of our first flight structure as we continue to make preparations for our vehicle's first full-scale flight," said Mark Sirangelo, head of Sierra Nevada Space Systems. "The Dream Chaser Program is making great strides toward developing a safe and cost-effective space system that will provide our country with the capability to safely transport crew and critical cargo to and from the International Space Station."

The all-composite structure was designed by the SNC team and built in conjunction with SNC Dream Chaser team organizations AdamWorks of Centennial, Colo., Applied Composite Technology of Gunnison, Utah, and Scaled Composites of Mojave, Calif.

"Our team now includes more than a dozen heritage space companies and seven NASA centers whose combined strength has continued to allow us to exceed the program's expectations," said Jim Voss, SNC's vice president for Space Exploration. Voss is a former space shuttle astronaut and was a member of the second crew to live aboard the International Space Station.

Dream Chaser's CCDev2 flight tests will be conducted with the assistance of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., under a Reimbursable Space Act Agreement (RSAA). During the captive carry test, a Virgin Galactic White Knight 2 carrier aircraft will drop the Dream Chaser flight test vehicle to measure its performance. SNC flight operations will be managed by the program's Director of Flight Operations Steve Lindsey, who joined the Dream Chaser team in 2011. Lindsey is a veteran of five shuttle missions and was chief of NASA's Astronaut Office from 2008 until his retirement from the agency in 2011.

All of NASA’s industry partners continue to meet their established milestones in developing commercial crew transportation capabilities that will ferry U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station reducing the amount of time America is without its own system.


Airframe (skin, airfoils, tiles etc. added over next 3 months)
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Dream Chaser as it will be drop-tested by VG's WhiteKnightTwo
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#33 neoadorable

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:37

That's a lot of talent and brain power going into this project, surprised we only have a shell/prototype so far

#34 OP DocM

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:12

Building an all composite prssure vessel for an orbital spacecraft is no trivial matter. Neither are the computational flow dynamics of launching a winged vehicle on top of a rocket without a fairing.

#35 neoadorable

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 04:48

Yes, but that's why layfolk like me have so much faith in scientists. I mean these guys were able to figure out nuclear power in like three decades, building one spaceplane shouldn't be.much of a challenge heheheh

#36 OP DocM

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 19:58

Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser update:

The DC will soon be shipped out for fit and captive carry tests with the Virgin Galactic White Knight Two "EVE" mothership. After these EVE tests DC will go home for final fitting of its flight hardware. Captive carry tests will happen from April to May 2012.

After the flight hardware is fit it's out to Edwards Air Force Base for EVE and DC to do drop tests; glides, landings, and flight envelope expansion. Drop tests look to happen in late summer 2012.

Picture dump (vidcaps): (bottom is without rear panels, tiles, nose or winglets)

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#37 OP DocM

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 12:23

Forgot to note it above: take a look at the artwork of DC landing and being towed on ghe runway - no nose wheel, it uses a skid like SS2.

Why? Weight and simplicity. Nose gear are complex, mostly metal and weigh hundreds of pounds, but a nose skid is simplicity itself and can be mostly composites. Important when it costs ~$5,000+ a pound to put something in orbit on an Atlas V.

#38 OP DocM

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 18:53

Aviation Week tweeted that Dream Chaser's first captive-carry flight will happen at the end of May!!

This will check out the White Knight 2 interface & clamps, how they fly together etc. It will likely do several of these before a drop, glide and landing flight.

Things must be going well as this caught a lot of people by surprise.

#39 neoadorable

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:11

hey that's awesome news, if you say it's earlier than expected. but what does captive carry mean exactly?

#40 OP DocM

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 13:39

White Knight 2 will carry it up and test their combined flight charistics, takeoff & landings, the connecting hardwares stability, etc. A few of those and drop-tests, glides, and landings under GPS auto-flight can happen. This because it's designed to also fly unmanned missions, so it lands like X-37B.

#41 OP DocM

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 04:39

First look at the final mold line - ISTM the winglets look a tad longer/thicker.

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Sierra Nevada News & Press Releases

Sierra Nevada Corporation Completes Wind Tunnel Testing of The Dream Chaser Orbital Crew Vehicle at Texas A&M University

Sparks, NV – April 24, 2012 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems has successfully completed wind tunnel testing of a scale model of the Dream Chaser® orbital crew vehicle in the Oran W. Nicks Low Speed Wind Tunnel at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Aerodynamic data generated from this testing, coupled with data from computer simulations, will define the characteristics of the Dream Chaser® lifting body vehicle during the approach and landing phase of flight. This information will assist engineers in preparing for the Dream Chaser® vehicle’s first free flight test scheduled for the third quarter of this year.

“The Dream Chaser® Program thanks the Texas A&M wind tunnel team for their support of this testing, which produced results that exceeded our expectations. As the only lifting body vehicle currently funded by NASA under the Commercial Crew Development Program, we are thankful for the opportunity to verify our computational data in such an advanced facility. This is an important step in preparing for the vehicle's first free flight,” said Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President of SNC's Space Systems.

"The Department of Aerospace Engineering has been privileged to work with high caliber engineers from Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems and to be part of the wind tunnel testing of the scale model of the Dream Chaser®," added Dr. Dimitris Lagoudas, head of the University's Department of Aerospace Engineering.

The Dream Chaser® team is proud to include several Texas A&M graduates. Dr. Merri Sanchez, Senior Director of Space Exploration Systems, and John Curry, Director of Systems Integration, Test, and Operations for the Dream Chaser® both attribute their success in advancing the field of human spaceflight to their experience as students at the University. "Texas A&M provided the foundation for us, as students, to excel in careers in aerospace engineering. We are proud to be working with the University on the Dream Chaser® Program, they are providing critical data that will inform the future of manned spaceflight," said Sanchez and Curry in a joint statement.

For more information on the Dream Chaser® Space System, please visit: http://www.SNCSpace.com



#42 OP DocM

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 13:46

3840X2160 rendering of Dream Chaser's final configuration, detailed enough to count the tiles. Shrink her down for a nice wallpaper.

Also. another presser from Sierra Nevada Corp. -

Sparks, NV – April 26, 2012 – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems has signed several Space Act Agreements (SAA) with NASA's Johnson Space Center dating back to May 2011 to assist in both the technical development of, and operations support for, the Dream Chaser® Space System. SNC has received funding awards from NASA in both rounds of the Commercial Crew Development Program and has chosen to re-invest capital back into the space agency through SAAs with individual Centers, including Houston's Johnson Space Center, to leverage NASA's experience and expertise in human spaceflight.

Johnson Space Center's Engineering and Mission Operations Directorates are currently receiving funding from SNC. These agreements include work in a variety of areas such as thermal protection and the use of the Christopher C. Kraft, Jr. Mission Control Center. Additional SAAs are being developed with several other Directorates within the Center.

“Thanks to the work of those at Johnson Space Center, America was able to put men on the moon and the International Space Station into orbit. As the Dream Chaser® Program develops a vehicle to backfill the capabilities of the Space Shuttle, it will not be without a significant contribution from the experts at Johnson Space Center,” explained Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President of SNC's Space Systems.

Several SNC executives will visit the Houston area to participate in the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA), where Sirangelo will be the keynote speaker for the prestigious event. “We are investing in Houston. In 2011, SNC opened its Houston office and continues to create dynamic partnerships with the area's diverse aerospace industry, including the expansion of our investment in the Johnson Space Center,” said Sirangelo.

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  • Dream Chaser Landing _3840X2160.jpg


#43 OP DocM

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 20:37

Daily Camera....

Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spacecraft tested at Broomfield airport

Sierra Nevada Corp. today launched initial flight tests for the Dream Chaser, a spacecraft meant to transport crew and supplies to the International Space Station.


The tests took place this morning at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, according to a news release from the company. Sierra Nevada is a private space technology company, which includes a branch in Louisville. The craft could be seen haning by a tether from a large helicopter.

The Dream Chaser Program is meant is to provide spaceflight capability by transporting up to seven crew members and cargo to and from the International Space Station, according to Sierra Nevada's Web site. The craft would be fully reusable.

Rocky Mountain Metro Airport director Kenny Maenpa said the full-scale flight test was conducted by tethering the Dream Chaser to a heavy-lift helicopter. The test was meant to check the craft's aerodynamic performance, he said.
 
The test is just one step in the Dream Chaser's development. The airport was chosen for the initial test, because of its nearness to Sierra Nevada's Louisville location, but there will not be further tests at the Rocky Mountain Airport site, Maenpa said."We're pleased and happy to make our land available for the test," he said.
 
Maenpa said the airport hopes to provide facilities for further commercial spaceflight projects.

"The governor has been supportive of this type of activity and dedicating Colorado as a place to go into the commercial space transport business," he said.


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#44 OP DocM

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 22:14



#45 OP DocM

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 15:54