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Dream Chaser spaceplane updates (thread 2)

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

Dream Chaser

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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SNC Announces New Dream Chaser Spacecraft Designated Landing Site Program

 

ooSNCC.thumb.jpg.b8df48b9483967a99d4e39b
Dream Chaser Spacecraft    SNC

Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems announces the launch of a new program, the Dream Chaser-Preferred Landing Site Program, in which SNC will work with spaceports and commercial airports to become a designated landing site for the Dream Chaser spacecraft.

"The number of applicants requesting spaceport licenses both domestically and internationally has increased dramatically over the past 24 months," said John Roth, vice president of business development and strategy for SNC's Space Systems. "SNC's Dream Chaser spacecraft is the only commercial space vehicle that is capable not only of a runway landing, but landing on runways that already support commercial aircraft. SNC has created this program based on the tremendous interest we have received to date from spaceports and airports around the world that want to host Dream Chaser landings as a stimulant to their local economies."

Through the Dream Chaser-Preferred Landing Site Program, SNC is offering three different levels of designation, with the highest level culminating in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issuing a re-entry license to SNC for the designated spaceport or airport. This program was created based on similar work currently being done with Ellington Spaceport in Houston, Texas and the Huntsville International Airport Authority (HIA) in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

Recently, the FAA granted a launch site license to the Houston Airport System (HAS), allowing the launch of reusable vehicles from Houston. HAS was only the tenth location to be granted such a license. SNC has worked with HAS for over a year to aid in the submittal of their license and to assess the feasibility of landing Dream Chaser in Houston, home of NASA's Johnson Space Center.

As announced in June at the Paris Air Show, SNC is also working with the City of Huntsville to assess the feasibility of landing the Dream Chaser spacecraft at the Huntsville International Airport, a public-use airport. Huntsville plays a significant role in the national and global space community.

"Dream Chaser is poised to lead the commercial space industry in reusable, low-Earth orbital flight," said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC's Space Systems. "The benefits of multiple landing sites would be significant to both the landing site community and to the Dream Chaser network of domestic and international partners. With each Preferred Landing Site designation, comes a greater opportunity to make commercial space an accessible reality."

SNC's Dream Chaser spacecraft requires only a 10,000 feet or longer runway and does not have any onboard toxic consumables, including propellants. Therefore, the vehicle has very limited environmental impact and affords immediate post-landing access to the spacecraft.

 

 http://spaceref.biz/company/snc-announces-new-dream-chaser-spacecraft-designated-landing-site-program.html

................:)

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All of this depends on Dream Chaser getting a Commercial Resupply Services II contract, and those are supposed to be announced later this year. The odds are against them as SpaceX (Dragon/Dragon 2), Orbital ATK (Cygnus) and Boeing (Starliner Cargo) are the front runners and Cargo DC needs a lot of work before it's ready to fly 

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Quite true...but the guys have been working hard on a shoe string budget and I hope they find a niche somewhere.....ie "space taxi" and delivery service to/from LEO....:)

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Dream Chaser LIVES!

Test article nearing completion and orbital vehicle under cconstruction at Lockheed Martin.

http://www.sncspace.com/AboutUs/NewsDetails/1923

 

SPARKS, Nev. (October 7, 2015) – In anticipation of a second phase of flight testing, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems has announced significant updates to two Dream Chaser®  spacecraft currently in development. The spacecraft are the atmospheric engineering test article (ETA) and the advanced composite orbital vehicle, which when tested will undergo a suborbital and orbital flight regimen, respectively. SNC’s Mark Sirangelo provided a program update at the International Symposium for Commercial and Personal Spaceflight (ISPCS) in New Mexico.

“The SNC team is readying the ETA in order to begin the second phase of atmospheric flight testing early next year and our strategic partner, Lockheed Martin, is leveraging best practices in tooling and composites to manufacture the first orbital Dream Chaser spacecraft,” said Mark. N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president, SNC’s Space Systems. “Both efforts have been ongoing simultaneously and we are very pleased with the progress to date.”

Since flight test phase one, in which SNC’s Dream Chaser ETA successfully returned trajectory data of the flight profile, SNC has made significant structural and systems improvements to the ETA including the composite wings and aeroshells. SNC also invested heavily in maturing the spacecraft orbital avionics, guidance navigation and control, the flight software, and employed a number of new processes, all of which will be used on the orbital vehicle as well. Finally, the advanced orbital Thermal Protection System (TPS), announced in June, was installed on the ETA skid in order to do advanced testing of the actual orbital TPS in this important area.

“The Dream Chaser ETA is currently scheduled to arrive at Armstrong Flight Research Center in early 2016 in order to begin the second phase of atmospheric flight test.”

In parallel to the ETA upgrade, SNC has made significant progress on the build of the first Dream Chaser orbital vehicle manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin is leveraging best-practices in composite manufacturing from the Skunk Works®, its advanced development programs division, as well as its extensive experience in manufacturing and assembly from the F-35 Lightning II.

Lockheed Martin recently completed the Dream Chaser orbital cabin assembly, marking a significant milestone in the construction of this vehicle.  This assembly is the largest high-temperature unitized structure ever fabricated at U.S. Air Force Plant 4. The assembly utilized three-dimensional woven joints, to integrate internal frames with external carbon skins in a single co-bond operation, meaning nearly all fasteners on this critical cabin assembly are eliminated. This state-of –the-art approach to design and manufacturing is a highly efficient and affordable design solution.

“Upon completion, the Dream Chaser orbital vehicle will be the most advanced composite structure ever built. We look forward to Dream Chaser becoming the world leader in this area and to its first orbital flight,” said Sirangelo.

SNC’s Dream Chaser spacecraft is the only reusable, lifting-body, multi-mission-capable vehicle with a commercial runway landing capability - anywhere in the world. The Dream Chaser is a safe, affordable, flexible and reliable system capable of crewed and uncrewed transportation services to low-Earth orbit destinations such as the International Space Station. SNC has designed the Dream Chaser Cargo System as a solution for NASA’s commercial transportation services needs under the Cargo Resupply Services 2 contract and for other fully autonomous orbital missions.

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Few extra's...

unnamed1.thumb.jpg.a1d61f3772f89dc9c69ad
SNC technicians inspect the Dream Chaser engineering test article (ETA). A second advanced composite orbital vehicle is also being worked, which when tested will undergo a suborbital and orbital flight regimen, respectively. Flight testing is scheduled to resume sometime in 2016. Photo Credit: SNC

Sierra-Nevada-Corporation-SNC-Dream-Chas
SNC’s Dream Chase at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, CA. Photo Credit: SNC

from similar article......
http://www.americaspace.com/?p=87096#more-87096

Latest promo video....3:14 min

 

:)

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Similar article at Space.com....but this one has a photo of the composite orbiter body...

Private Dream Chaser Space Plane Poised for New Flight Tests in 2016

At a gathering of the top leaders and innovators in the commercial spaceflight industry here yesterday (Oct. 7), Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of Sierra Nevada's space systems division, discussed the status of the two "Dream Chaser" space planes, which could one day fly astronauts or cargo to the International Space Station or other destinations. The vehicle will begin its second stage of testing at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in early 2016. The NASA research center is located in the Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California.

A video of Dream Chaser's cargo ship role released in March offers a simulation of what the reusable space plane could be capable of. It shows the vehicle — which can operate with a human pilot or  autonomously — hitching a ride on a large rocket, then unfurling itself when it reaches space. From there, the vehicle can rendezvous with the space station.

 

One version of the Dream Chaser vehicle is a successor to the very first space shuttle, Enterprise, according to Sirangelo. Known as the atmospheric engineering test article (ETA), the version, like NASA's Enterprise, would not actually reach orbit above Earth, but would be able to fly at suborbital altitudes and would serve as a microgravity laboratory. Sierra Nevada announced in September that it was beginning talks with spaceports and commercial airports to find suitable locations for Dream Chaser to land after a mission (the space plane lands horizontally, like NASA's space shuttles).

Sirangelo spoke at a news briefing at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS), which takes place annually here in Las Cruces. The meeting has become a place for companies and industry members to share updates and ideas about the industry.

 

 

 snc-dream-chaser-assembly.thumb.jpg.fdd1
The body of the Dream Chaser orbital vehicle, recently manufactured by Lockheed Martin. 
Credit: Sierra Nevada Corp

In a news release put out by Sierra Nevada Corp. following Sirangelo's talk, the company also announced that it had made progress on the orbital Dream Chaser vehicle (portrayed in the video above). Lockheed Martin, which will manufacture the orbital vehicle, recently completed the first cabin assembly of the orbital space plane.

"Upon completion, the Dream Chaser orbital vehicle will be the most advanced composite structure ever built. We look forward to Dream Chaser becoming the world leader in this area and to its first orbital flight," Sirangelo said in the news release.

The Sierra Nevada Corp. was one of three companies that received money from NASA as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) award, which is intended to help companies in the later stages of spacecraft development to reach completion. But Sierra Nevada lost out in the second round of the program, with awards given instead to SpaceX and Boeing. Despite that, the company has pressed on with its development of Dream Chaser.

http://www.space.com/30782-dream-chaser-space-plane-2016-tests.html 

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This has been about for a while,

http://www.aviationweek.com/space/dream-chasers-cargo-version-could-get-boost-nasa

Dream Chaser's Cargo Version Could Get Boost From NASA  

NASA evaluators appear to have winnowed the field for future ISS cargo contractors to the commercial-cargo capsules already operated by CRS-1 contractors Orbital ATK and SpaceX and an unmanned cargo version of the Sierra Nevada Corp. Dream Chaser reusable lifting body.
>
>(Paywall)

dream-chaser-cargo-module-visible-cargo.

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The Dream Chaser Engineering Test Article being inspected, but in the background is the Dream Chaser Orbital Test Vehicle being fabbed.  

fcec2d48bc24a33f9e27953741463381.jpg

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Whoah....

 

While this is an ESA official speaking the Dream Chaser team has been working closest with DLR - the German space agency.

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/pbdes/status/687917097746329600

 

ESA's Woerner: Our long-standing cooperation w/ Sierra Nevada on DreamChaster should expand now that NASA selected it for ISS cargo supply.

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/pbdes/status/687925908997599232

 

ESAs Woerner: SNC Dream Chaser wings too big for Ariane launch, but wings could be folded to make it fit. It's feasible.

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That is  good news. The more involved in newspace, the better....will be handy for "time sensitive" as it gives a second option now (SpaceX as well).

:) 

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3285871.jpg

 

What i think of when i see Dreamchaser :p

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:woot:

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That is wrong in so many ways :)(Y) 

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// mini tech grumble. I don't know if it's old age and impatience on my part, or young tech reporters with limited research skills, but some times, I step back and state...an article is outright nonsense. Some of the nonsense out in print even attempts to portray that this technology was borrowed from other countries. Plain nonsense.

 

Since Dream Chaser has been accepted for CRS2, there have been and probably will continue to be articles that just miss the point.

 

Doc has covered some of this a few years back in posts, the following is my whining....

 

Lifting bodies have been experimented on for over 50 years, before NASA was derived from NACA in 1958. There has been, more or less, continual research in this field for various uses...some not so benign. The prior Soviet Union had been experimenting with various models from the MIG-105 to the Bor series to test heat shields for Buran.

 

I, myself was disappointed when the HL20 PLS (Personal Launch System) and the CRV (Crew Return Vehicle) (X-38) were both  abandoned as a lifeboat for the ISS. The Dream Chaser is a good derivative of it though. There is a wealth of knowledge in lifter bodies. Today's modern composites, analysis methods and construction techniques help to make a safer craft. As a newspace venture, large capital outlays are required over long time frames and i am happy that SNC have made it this far, and hope they are a success.

 

Just thought I would throw a few images (there are other models as well) ...of the family tree...if you will.

 

300px-NASA_M2-F1.thumb.jpg.da37f5ba54669

M2-F1

 

 

 

LiftingBodies.jpg

X-24, M2-F3, HL-10

 

 

800px-EL-1996-00177.thumb.jpeg.c171fe5d6

HL-20 PLS prototype

 

 

ISS_Crew_Return_Vehicle.thumb.jpg.aa17e2

CRV (Crew Return Vehicle)

 

 

OrbitalSpacePlaneInOrbit600x597-cropped.

Rendering of Prometheus in orbit, prototype

 

some Lifting Body data....just for giggles

 

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/news/FactSheets/FS-011-DFRC.html

 

http://www.astronautix.com/project/nasgbody.htm

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body

 

/s   (this will show your age) ... and of course, the most memorable of all...

 

569ef3bbdeca8_M2F2on10May1967.thumb.jpg.

M2-F2 on 10th of May, 1967

 

Quote

On May 10, 1967, during the 16th glide flight, a landing accident severely damaged the vehicle and seriously injured the NASA pilot, Bruce Peterson. (Film footage of the crash was later used in the opening sequence of the popular 1970s-era television show, "The Six-million Dollar Man.")

On May 10, 1967, during the 16th glide flight, a landing accident severely damaged the vehicle and seriously injured the NASA pilot, Bruce Peterson. (Film footage of the crash was later used in the opening sequence of the popular 1970s-era television show, "The Six-million Dollar Man.")

 

The Six Million Dollar Man Intro, video is 1:15 min.

 

 

 

 

/ tech rumblings over

:)

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The Russian BOR-4 testbed was photographed after returning by a Australian P-3 recon plane. Those photos were shared with the US.

 

P-3 image

thm_assets--images--new--102_jpg-400_356

 

BOR-4 internals

 

bor4-15.gif

 

The US reverse engineered BOR-4's shape, and it eventually became the HL-20 PLS and HL-42, its larger brother. It was planned they'd fly on the Titan launcher series. 

 

It's a crying shame that HL-20 PLS (crew, small cargo) and HL-42 (crew and heavier cargo) didn't fly and replace the Space Shuttle before it killed anyone else after Challenger. Unfortunately, special interests (the usual suspects) involved with the Shuttle and its launch system decided they were too much competition and got the project cancelled, this just months before construction was to start on a flight HL-20. 

 

Years later SpaceDev proposed an updated, composite materials version of HL-20 named Dream Chaser for Commercial Crew.  After the death of Jim Benson, SpaceDev's owner, SpaceDev was sold to Sierra Nevada Corporation which has sheparded Dream Chaser to its Commercial Cargo 2 contract win.

 

Sierra Nevada says they continue to work on the crew version of the Dream Chaser.

 

In an ultimate touch of class, the SNC Dream Chaser team visited Russia and showed the surviving BOR-4 team members their work on Dream Chaser. Then they had the BOR-4 team sign a panel that will be part of the first flight Dream Chaser.

 

hl20hl42.jpg

 

HL-42 & cargo loading

 

hl42conf.jpg

hl42vers.jpg

 

HL-20 on Titan

hl-20-on-titan-iiic.jpg

 

HL-20 cockpit prototype

spaceplane-sidehl-20pilotstudy_el-1996-0

 

HL-20 engineering test article at Langley

560787main_HL20_EL-1996-00164_710x946.jp

Edited by DocM
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Nice. I didn't realize that they were that serious about the HL-42. The Bor-4 recovery image....I remember that exact image, can't place when I first saw it, though...It was obviously after this time below...

 

Quote

On June 3, 1982 a Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion reconnaissance aircraft captured the first Western images of the craft as it was recovered by a Soviet ship near the Cocos Islands.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BOR-4

 

The one problem that I remember in the early days was low velocity instability which led to the 3rd middle vertical stabilizer on the M2-F3

 

As the U.S. was researching lifting bodies (powered X-24 in early 70's), so to where the Soviet union, which culminated in the BOR-4...and rumor has it the BOR-4 was also cancelled due to the Buran. In a sense, both countries lifter bodies suffered fates due to shuttle variants.

 

That was a nice gesture with the BOR-4 team, they appeared to do a lot of great work, then let down by the Buran development and the restructuring after the cold war.

 

Ironically, both shuttle programs ceased, and the lifting body method being used for two companies awarded CRS2 contracts, SNC and in an important, and not obvious manor...

 

Quote

Another use of a lifting body is SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket's first stage. During landing attempts, the first stage deploys grid fins which steer lift produced by the cylindrical body of the first stage.[8] According to SpaceX, the grid fins can tilt the first stage to approximately twenty degrees to generate lift and steer the stage towards a floating landing platform or landing pad.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body

 

:)

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Wow....

 

http://spacenews.com/europe-to-invest-in-sierra-nevadas-dream-chaser-cargo-vehicle/

 

Europe to invest in Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser cargo vehicle

 

PARIS — Sierra Nevada Corp.’s win of a NASA contract to ferry cargo to the International Space Station will trigger a $36 million investment by the 22-nation European Space Agency following a cooperation agreement to be signed in the coming weeks, ESA said.

 

Once the agreement is signed, ESA will begin work building the first flight model of the International Berthing and Docking Mechanism (IBDM), which Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser Cargo System will use to attach itself to the space station.

 

ESA said it would spend 33 million euros ($36 million) to complete the design of the IBDM and build a flight model for Dream Chaser’s first cargo run. Future IBDMs will be financed by Sierra Nevada, ESA said.

 

ESA and Sierra Nevada in early 2014 agreed to adapt the IBDM to Sierra Nevada’s winged Dream Chaser, which was originally designed to carry astronauts and more recently has been adapted for unmanned cargo missions.

 

The agency spent about 8 million euros on the early work, which slowed after Sierra Nevada failed to win a NASA contract to send commercial crews to the space station.

 

ESA said it had spent some 20 million euros in total in recent years working on IBDM and on preparatory work for Dream Chaser.

 

But Sierra Nevada’s surprise Jan. 14 win of the second round of NASA’s Cargo Resupply Services (CRS-2) business, which promises at least six missions to the space station for the Dream Chaser Cargo System through 2024, breathed new life into the agreement.

ESA Director-General Johann-Dietrich Woerner said the NASA contract revives not only the IBDM collaboration, but also studies of future launch of the Dream Chaser inside the fairing of Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket.

 

Louisville, Colorado-based Sierra Nevada Space Systems has designed the Dream Chaser in configurations to launch aboard  United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 and the European Ariane 5 rockets. To fit under the Ariane 5 fairing, the Dream Chaser would fold its wings.

“There is a memorandum of understanding not only with ESA and SNC, but also between SNC and some of the other national space agencies [in Europe],” Woerner said during a Jan. 18 press briefing here. “These are looking at different technologies, coming from Europe, to be used in Dream Chaser, as well as using Dream Chaser for European purposes such as microgravity research.

 

“There is also the launching aspect,” Woerner said. “The idea is to have Dream Chaser also launched with an Ariane. We have checked and that is possible. There is already a plan to have folded wings. There was some discussions about whether this would be possible with astronauts, but that is not what we are discussing now, although even that would be possible.”

 

Before arriving at ESA in July 2015, Woerner was head of the German Aerospace Center, DLR. In April 2015 he signed a cooperation agreement with Sierra Nevada Corp.

 

In response to SpaceNews inquiries, DLR said Jan. 22 that NASA’s selection of Dream Chaser for cargo supply would not trigger any immediate investment by the German agency.

 

“DLR appreciates that Dream Chaser will now get its chance to prove itself in real-life service,” DLR said. “It is an innovative concept. However, no immediate actions on DLR’s side are foreseen. We will closely monitor the progress of the Dream Chaser project and we will evaluate if a more involved cooperation makes sense for both parties. No formal contract is foreseen, and thus no budget is allocated to this kind of work.”

 

ESA's IBDM on test rig
International_Berthing_Docking_Mechanism
 

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