Dream Chaser spaceplane updates (thread 2)


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DocM

The delays are because of Congress underfunding Commercial Crew milestone payments ($696m vs $821m requested for FY2014), and SNC only getting a 50% competitor share vs. 100% each for SpaceX and Boeing due to the FY2013 shortfall. NASA only had enough for 2 full shares and one half share. SpaceX and Boeing were further along, so....

SpaceX plans their first DragonRider flight for mid-2015. Using their own launcher gives them a big financial and logistical plus, and they've flown. Most analysts put them significantly ahead.

Boeing plans their first CST-100 flight for late 2015 to early 2016. I'd bet on the latter. Boeing has admitted they're having trouble closing the business case, largely due to the high cost of Atlas V HR. Since then they've been in touch with SpaceX about switching to Falcon 9 v1.1 after their 2 flight Atlas V HR obligation ends. The difference could be >$100m per launch.

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The new Dream Chaser team member is Teledyne Brown Engineering.

Dream Chaser will have 3 mission configurations, shown in the image at bottom.

http://www.sncspace.com/press_more_info.php?id=386

Sierra Nevada Corporation Expands Work in Huntsville with 

Marshall Space Flight Center and Teledyne Brown Engineering for 

Dream Chaser Advanced Development Applications

Sparks, Nev., March 11, 2014 ? Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces the expansion of its Dream Chaser? program team and scope of work in Huntsville, Ala., with the signing of a Space Act Agreement (SAA) Annex with NASA?s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and a Teaming Agreement with Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE).

During today?s press conference at MSFC, Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of SNC?s Space Systems, presented details of the two new agreements that advance the Dream Chaser spacecraft to enable science payload operations and technology development in support of continued growth and utilization of space and the International Space Station (ISS). 

Sirangelo outlined the substantial contribution each partner will make towards the Dream Chaser Advanced Development program. Sirangelo stated, ?Today we are pleased to announce that we are increasing our presence in Alabama by expanding our relationship with theMarshall Space Flight Center and adding Teledyne Brown Engineering to our growing Dream Chaser team. Each of these organizations provide experts in their respective fields and have already begun applying their invaluable knowledge and experience. We will work together to evaluate future low-Earth orbit (LEO) mission concepts for the Dream Chaser in the area of scientific payload operations with the goal of enhancing and enabling science in LEO. We are honored they are joining our already dynamic list of partners ? our  ?Dream Team? - which now includes over 15 companies, seven NASA centers and a growing list of universities.  The team spans more than 30 states and several countries with the common goal of furthering the development of the multi-mission Dream Chaser spacecraft.?

SNC?s Space System?s Advanced Development group is responsible for overseeing the multi-mission capability of the Dream Chaser spacecraft which includes crew-capable LEO servicing, science and transportation missions. The inherent capabilities of the reusable Dream Chaser lifting body spacecraft, as illustrated by its low-g reentry and runway landing, make it an ideal vehicle to support a variety of LEO missions.

SNC selected MSFC?s Mission Operations Laboratory (MOL), an authority in mission operations for science payloads aboard the ISS, to collaborate with SNC?s engineers to evaluate Design Reference Missions, operations planning, training and mission execution for utilizing the Dream Chaser as a platform to complement and support science being performed on the ISS. 

?We are glad to share the knowledge and expertise we?ve gained through our decades of experience with payload development for space shuttle missions and operating and maintaining science research on the International Space Station,? said Patrick Scheuermann, Marshall director. ?We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation for more than two years and look forward to continued collaboration.?

The MOL is run by a dedicated team of civil servants and experienced commercial contractors led by Teledyne Brown Engineering, a close partner to SNC. Under the Teaming Agreement, SNC and TBE are working together to evaluate strategic and technical partnership opportunities for the Dream Chaser Advanced Development team and other space systems collaborations.

?We are very pleased to team with Sierra Nevada Corporation in the development of the Dream Chaser,? said Rex D. Geveden, executive vice president, Teledyne Technologies Incorporated.  ?This is an exceptional opportunity to apply our capabilities in payload development and integration to an exciting new space transportation system.?

SNC signed its first Space Act Agreement with NASA?s Marshall Center in 2012 leveraging MSFC?s expertise and resources to perform wind tunnel testing on various configurations of the Dream Chaser/United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch stack in MSFC?s trisonic wind tunnel lab. The data generated from the series of tests helped define the vehicles? aerodynamic characteristics in flight.

SNC opened its Huntsville office on Perimeter Parkway in 2011 and occupies hangar space at the Huntsville airport. In addition to the many subcontracts supported throughout the state of Alabama, SNC operates three of its six business areas in Huntsville, including Communications, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management, Integrated Mission Systems, and Space Systems, which leads its Dream Chaser thermal protection system development in Huntsville.

upese3um.jpg

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DocM

From the European Space Agency (ESA) Bulletin #157, re: Dream Chaser

Sounds like they're serious about collaborating on a non-Russian space access option.

http://esamultimedia.esa.int/multimedia/publications/ESA-Bulletin-157/files/html5/mobile/index.html

ESA - DC summary on page 67

Page 90....

International Berthing Docking Mechanism (IBDM)

The mechanical design of the IBDM data package continues. The avionic architecture definition has been completed and the new electro-mechanical actuators and the mechanism lock-down system have been tested. The Sierra Nevada Corporation confirmed their interest in the use of the IBDM on their Dream Chaser vehicle. Technical exchanges over the features of the IBDM and the main aspects of the mechanism to vehicle interface took place in December.

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Operation Avionics Subsystem (OAS)

The SRR for the cockpit mock-up was performed on 15 November. A set of activities based on the work performed in the OAS was discussed with the Sierra Nevada Corp. for application in the development of Dream Chaser. These include cockpit layout definition, displays (based on X-38/CRV programmes), simulators, certification of software and electronic procedures.

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MEDIA ADVISORY

April 7, 2014

Houston Airport System and Sierra Nevada Corporation

to Host Media Panel at Rice University ? Space Institute

WHAT:

Houston Airport System (HAS) and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) will host a joint news conference to provide an update on plans to support the Houston Space Port. Media will have the opportunity to speak with HAS officials and SNC?s Dream Chaser? senior leadership, and learn about the potential benefits of any future partnership between HAS and SNC. The Dream Chaser spacecraft has the capability of landing on commercial runways virtually anywhere in the world.

WHEN:

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 2 p.m. CDT

WHERE:

Rice University ? Space Institute, Weiss School of Natural Sciences

Weiss School of Natural Sciences, 6100 Main St., Houston, Texas 77005

WHO:

Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of SNC?s Space Systems

Mario Diaz, Aviation director for Houston Airport System

Arturo Machuca, manager business development of Houston Airport System

Dr. David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute

WHY:

HAS and SNC are forming a committee to explore the possibilities associated with the Houston/Ellington Space Port. As plans for the Houston Space Port continue to take shape, identifying required facilities or capabilities to service commercial space vehicles is essential. This location is well placed to service the Houston business, science and research community, including continuing support for the International Space Station and new commercial space enterprise.

Media is invited to join leadership from both HAS and SNC to learn more about the future of commercial spaceflight and Houston?s evolving role.

MEDIA RSVP VIA EMAIL:

All media planning to attend should contact David Falloure with Griffin Communications Group at David@GriffinCG.com no later than 4 p.m. CDT Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

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http://www.qinetiq.com/media/news/releases/Pages/qinetiq-space-wins-contract-with-european-space-agency-to-develop-international-berthing-docking-mechanism.aspx

QinetiQ Space wins contract with European Space Agency to develop International Berthing Docking Mechanism

Farnborough, 3 June 2014: QinetiQ Space has won a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the development of the International Berthing Docking Mechanism (IBDM), a unique soft docking system for use by spacecraft at the International Space Station (ISS).

Under the current contract phase, which will run until 2015, QinetiQ Space will develop and build an engineering model that it is intended to be tested on the ground. The contract is expected to lead to a follow-on development phase lasting until 2017.

Unlike current docking mechanisms, the IBDM absorbs relative movement and minimises the impact forces between two spacecraft while docking. This therefore reduces the solicitation of the spacecraft docking to the space station. This androgynous system will allow two vehicles to berth and dock with each other and ensure that there is an airtight connection between both spacecraft.

Commenting on the contract win, Erik Masure, Managing Director at QinetiQ Space, said: ?Until now, docking mechanisms requiring a minimum level of energy for their actuation have been used and were designed for large vehicles such as the Space Shuttle. This has meant that the attachment of new generation lighter spacecraft to the ISS has had to take place at a fast speed for a connection to be created, which can lead to potential issues with high forces in play. Now, through the expertise and experience of QinetiQ Space, and the development of the IBDM soft docking system, an active control of the relative motion of the two spacecraft can be created, and therefore the forces caused by the attachment process are significantly reduced and the docking reliability increased?.

ESA has started a cooperation with the American aerospace company, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) which is developing the Dream Chaser, a small reusable spacecraft that is a candidate to transport astronauts to the ISS. The IBDM may potentially be used for attaching this new vehicle to the ISS in the future.

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Siemens and Craig Technologies join the Dream Chaser team,

Sierra Nevada Corporation Expands Dream Chaser? Dream Team with Addition of Siemens PLM Software

Sparks, Nev., June 10, 2014 ? Sierra Nevada Corporation?s (SNC) Space Systems announces that Siemens PLM Software is expanding its current relationship with SNC by officially joining the SNC Dream Chaser? ?Dream Team?. Siemens PLM Software, headquartered in Plano, Texas, has been supporting SNC?s Space Systems? product lines, including the Dream Chaser spacecraft program, for over a decade with Siemens? engineering software tools.

?With the continual expansion of our Dream Team it is critical to maintain efficient collaboration between our various partners,? said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC?s Space Systems. ?As a global leader in software technology Siemens is joining our Dream Chaser team of world-class partners and organizations to support spacecraft development between the various members both in the U.S. and internationally, further improving quality, efficiency, and affordability.?

Siemens? role on the Dream Chaser program has evolved from its years of work with SNC?s Spacecraft product line. The expanded use of advanced engineering software tools has strengthened the SNC and Siemens alliance, which will also help facilitate the international expansion of the Dream Team. The use of Siemens? software technology will facilitate global vehicle development and the servicing of additional customer markets for the Dream Chaser spacecraft.

?We are extremely proud to have earned the confidence of SNC for such an important global initiative,? said Doug Fish, vice president, U.S. sales, Siemens PLM Software. ?As the leading supplier of PLM software to the space industry, Siemens takes its commitment to customer success very seriously. We are confident it will continue to provide the right information, in the right place, and at the right time, to help the SNC Dream Chaser Dream Team continue to make smart decisions throughout spacecraft development.?

Work on this strategic alliance will be supported through SNC?s Space Systems? Louisville facility.

Sierra Nevada Corporation And Craig Technologies Host Joint Dream Chaser? Press Conference

WHAT:

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Craig Technologies will host a joint press conference to announce the expansion of SNC?s Dream Chaser? ?Dream Team? to include Craig Technologies, a Woman-Owned, Minority-Owned, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVO), on the development of SNC?s Dream Chaser Space System. Craig Technologies will support SNC in multiple areas of design and development that will be discussed. Media will have the opportunity to speak with SNC and Craig Technologies program executives and tour Craig Technologies manufacturing area.

WHEN:

Thursday, June 12, 2014, 9:30 a.m. EST

Note: media will need to arrive at the below location at 9:00 a.m. for badging and escort to the fabrication location.

WHERE:

Media can participate in person or telecom.

Craig Technologies Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Center (ADMC)

8550 Astronaut Boulevard Cape Canaveral, FL 32920

WHO:

Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC?s Space Systems

Carol Craig, founder and CEO of Craig Technologies

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http://spaceref.biz/company/sierra-nevada/sierra-nevadas-dream-chaser-spacecraft-on-track-for-november-2016-launch.html

Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser Spacecraft on Track for November 2016 Launch

Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Dream Chaser spacecraft is "on track for its anticipated first launch in November 2016," Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC Space Systems, told a press conference on August 5, 2014, at the AIAA SPACE 2014 Forum in San Diego.

Sirangelo explained "that the first launch, out of Florida's space coast, would be one of two required for certification of the spacecraft, and will be unmanned." The second launch, scheduled for November 2017, would be manned and piloted." Sirangelo told the audience that "the tests are on track, and that the launch slots have been obtained." He noted that SNC would fly "five test flights of Dream Chaser, with 3 of them being manned, in order to by fully comfortable with the craft's ability to carry humans into space."

Sirangelo also reaffirmed that the vehicle would use the "Atlas V rocket to launch," confirming that SNC had selected the Atlas V, despite ongoing concerns about ability to obtain the rocket's RD-180 engines from Russia, in light of current geopolitical concerns. Sirangelo explained that they selected the Atlas-V because "the Atlas V is a good thing, we don't want to worry about the design and structure - it will be over 50 flights and close to 60, by the time we put humans on board." Sirangelo also noted that SNC "owns the Atlas Vs that will be used for launch," so that would be another reason not to worry about the possible disruption to the RD-180 supply. But, he admitted "the vehicle is agnostic, it can fly on any system, so we are not wedded to the Atlas V," suggesting some flexibility should the anticipated supply shortage become a reality.

When asked if the Atlas V would need extensive retrofitting to carry the vehicle, Sirangelo replied: "It's a whole lot less complicated than you would think," specifying that that "the vehicle interface, which will link the craft to the Atlas V rocket, is being built now," and adding that after the connective piece, the next needed item for launch is "an emergency detection system, required to let the crew know if there is a problem that requires the flight to be aborted." Once both pieces are in place, Dream Chaser, will be ready to fly. He also expressed confidence in the craft's unique lifting body, saying that there is a multitude of capsule based vehicles right now, including "the Automated Transfer and H-II Transfer Vehicles, Soyuz, Falcon, Cygnus, and Orion yet to come. In that complex world, we think that having a lifting body has a real practical purpose."

Asked if there was a risk of Dream Chaser's exclusion from the CCiCap program, Sirangelo was not worried, replying: "Now is a great time for rumours, but I think from what we see it will be multiple companies and vehicles." He also noted: "Practically speaking it would be difficult to make that down-select now, we are the only one starting to fly real hardware, but we are a long way away from a real final decision on the program."

Sirangelo closed the presser discussing Dream Chaser's unique abort system, explaining: "It's one of the things we really spent a lot of time on, and is one of strongest parts of the design." Triggered at any time during the launch sequence, the system allows the vehicle to "fly off the stack, abort, and land at a facility a few miles away, or on any standard runway capable of handling a Boeing 737." The system acts as ancillary motors on orbit, allowing greater maneuverability, and the ability to perform missions like satellite repair with greater precision. If the motors are not used their toxin-free fuel is simply vented out before the craft's return to Earth.

With SNC's investment in the craft, the craft's unique systems, and the company's commitment to a 2016 launch, it appears that Dream Chaser is on track to become a reality.

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Beittil

Hmm, somewhere I have always believed that the next step of the program is going to come down between Boeing and SpaceX, with either 1 being fully funded and the other dropped (along with SNC) or 1 fully funded and one at half rate (like SNC is now).

 

Then again, SNC will find purpose for the Dream Chaser I am sure. Enough entities and agencies have expressed interest in it for them to see it through. Unlike those ###### at Boeing who would almost definitely /dev/null their whole program the minute NASA does not select them!

 

Meanwhile though, over at Parabolic Arc SNC is being roasted in the comments on an article where SNC is boasting how it is keeping people busy in "32 states and over 50 congressional districts and is expected to continue to expand".

 

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/08/06/sierra-nevada-expanding-dream-chaser-team/#disqus_thread

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DocM

The thing to watch is Boeing with its CST-100. They've made it clear they have trouble with their business case due to the high cost of Atlas V, won't spend their own money if NASA doesn't give them more, and have already sent out WARN (possible layoff) notices to those working on CST-100.

The Atlas V issue is a killer, to the point one of their commercial crew chiefs said in public they were going to visit SpaceX to see if CST-100 could fly on Falcon 9 after its 2 contractually obligated Atlas V flights.

I'd love to have been in the ULA offices when they read THAT!

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FloatingFatMan

I'd love to have been in the ULA offices when they read THAT!

 

I'd imagine someone pooped a house brick! :p

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DocM

I'd say so because it totally undercuts ULA's 'we have better reliability' position in the SpaceX lawsuit.

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flyingskippy

Their reliability excuse is getting old and their chair (US Govt) is about to get pulled out from under them.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I feel like SNC and Boeing are missing one important fact. The Atlas V isn't human rated and god knows how much more money that will cost to accomplish. Are they just going to bypass the regulations and put humans on board anyway?

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DocM

Atlas V was human rated (HR) in the last commercial crew round by adding ULA's new Common Avionics package and a flight profile program to match. That version is now known as Atlas V HR.

Delta IV won't get Common Avionics + HR until about 2019.

Falcon 9 has had human rated avionics since day one.

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flyingskippy

Any info on what the HR version costs to launch?

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DocM

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.

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http://m.aviationweek.com/space/sierra-nevada-track-restart-lifting-body-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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DocM

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.

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http://www.americaspace.com/?p=66395#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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DocM

Oh, wow....

http://aviationweek.com/space/sierra-nevada-continue-dream-chaser-may-protest-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.

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DocM

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.

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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.

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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

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http://www.legnostorto.com/m/ami-e-sierra-nevada-firmano-un-accordo-per-il-dream-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

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