SNC Dream Chaser Cargo System (updates)

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DocM    12,925

Aviation Week article....

dreamchaserunmannedcargoversion-sierrane

Dream Chased Cargo System (DCSS) for NASA's ISS Commercial Resupply Services II (CRS-2) program.

Note that it's wings now fold so it can launch within a 5+ meter fairing, which simplifies the aero load modeling.

The crew version basics are still there with life support, windows etc. removed so if chosen the system could get flight history in preparation for a future Commercial Crew 2 competition.

Press release

SPARKS, Nev. (March 17, 2015) Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) unveiled a new Dream Chaser

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Beittil    373

Besides the fact that it looks like a space version of a pickup truck with a trailer on its tail, the major flaw in this system I see is that they use the smaller variant of the docking system! This means that they are basically going to be limited to food, clothing, etc. No experiment racks, hardware (unless its like... laptops, camera's), etc.

 

I would be REALLY surprised if this system gets picked! Their _only_ benefit is the ability to return cargo practically directly on NASA's doorstep by landing at the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC.

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DocM    12,925

Even that is of iffy utility because Dragon V2 is capable of landing at Landing Complex 1 (LC-1) at KSC (formerly LC-13), Vandenberg's SLC-4W landing complex (LC-2?) or, as recently hinted at by Shotwell, Ellington AFB ~9 miles from the NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

That's 3 doorsteps, minimum, and we haven't even seen SpaceX's CRS-2 proposal.

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flyingskippy    129

This just keeps getting better and better. They are seriously struggling to hang on.

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DocM    12,925

SNC is still working with StratoLaunch on a smaller 3 person Dream Chaser to be launched on their system.

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DocM    12,925


@jeff_foust

John Olson, SNC: 92% of Dream Chaser components are reusable; vehicle has a design life of at least 15 missions.
>
Olson notes Dream Chaser is launcher agnostic, shows it on Atlas 5, Ariane 5, Falcon Heavy, and future H-3.
>
Olson: while NASA is currently our anchor customer, we envision flying 3-4X of our revenue will come from non-NASA customers.
>
Olson: we don't have a billionaire benefactor looking to become a millionaire. But we are putting >$500M into vehicle development.
>
Olson: for Dream Chaser missions, launch and insurance 2 biggest costs. Prorated cost of vehicle itself will be much lower.

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DocM    12,925

What's visible is mostly thermal panels, with a few outer skin panels.

KSC-20160414-PH_SNC0001_0001 & 0002

 

Dava Newman, NASA's deputy administrator, fifth from the left, and William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, second from right, toured the Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser facility in Louisville, Colorado. SNC’s engineering test article of the Dream Chaser spacecraft is being assembled for a free-flight test later this year at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. The free-flight test is part of the company's developmental agreement with NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

 

 9dd52fdc846ca49f43fb2925ccc9118c.jpg

 

f7c56b07f20be01d8971d2a2bc0a2c2a.jpg

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,163

:/ Only thing I see it being good for is hauling people and a little bit of cargo in their place (2,000 lbs or less). Lifeboat, Escape Pod, Rapid-Access Craft if something needed to get uphill to the ISS in a hurry, or if an emergency evac from the ISS for a medical or family emergency, etc. Then yeah, it's got a use if they can process it quickly enough.

 

Don't get me wrong; it's a decent design, and for what it is it's got several good niche's it can fill. And we all like the reusability, so long as it isn't the "pipe dream" that the Space Shuttle was and if DC is built correctly.

 

So I'm of two minds about this one. /shrug

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Draggendrop    5,175

Hope it works out, we need everyone in "newspace".

 

:D

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DocM    12,925

From the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Colorado.

Quote

Sierra Nevada Corporation


John Olson, Vice President of Space Exploration Systems

Inaugural Dream Chaser cargo flight to ISS scheduled for between October 2019 and April 2020

Two Dream Chasers to fly total of 30 times over 10 years

NASA has reserved a minimum of 6 flights under CRS-2 contract

Commercial missions planned for 2020-2021 will carry experiments arranged by NanoRacks

Initial flights on United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Atlas V and later ULA’s successor Vulcan launch vehicle

Dream Chaser could be launched on Japan’s H-3 and Europe’s Ariane 6 booster

Working with six airports and spaceports as locations to land

 

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DocM    12,925

Dream Chaser® Spacecraft to Begin Phase Two Flight Testing

SPARKS, Nev. (July 28, 2016) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser full-scale, flight test vehicle is ready for transportation to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) in California where Phase Two flight tests will be conducted in coordination with Edwards Air Force Base (AFB). Dream Chaser program upgrades and initial hardware testing were completed at the Louisville, Colorado spacecraft assembly facility, and within the next several weeks the same Dream Chaser vehicle that conducted Phase One flight testing will arrive at NASA’s AFRC. Upon arrival, SNC will begin a series of pre-flight ground evaluations to verify and validate the vehicle’s system and subsystem designs. After successful completion of all ground testing, Dream Chaser will begin its Phase Two free-flight testing. These activities are being conducted through a Space Act Agreement with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP).

“Dream Chaser continues to make strong progress toward orbital flight,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business area. “In addition to Phase Two flight testing, our on-time completion of the first two milestones under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract in the last two months positions us well to be on-schedule for orbital operational flight. We are very grateful for all the support we have received from NASA and the U.S. Air Force, and are excited to continue the legacy of historic flight testing that is the hallmark of NASA AFRC and Edwards AFB.”

What Are We Testing?
The vehicle will undergo a series of tests building on those performed in Phase One, including tow-tests, pre-flight tests and ending with free-flight testing. SNC is also performing additional critical tests to validate the Dream Chaser’s orbital flight software and calculate the spacecraft's handling and performance characteristics. Along with other pre-flight and post-flight evaluations, this data will be used to confirm Dream Chaser’s subsonic aerodynamic properties as well as flight software and control system performance requirements.

“These tests are significant for us in multiple ways; building on our previous flight test, completing a significant milestone under our CCP agreement, as well as gathering crucial data that will help complete the design of the vehicle being built for our CRS-2 contract,” said Sirangelo.

CCP Testing Supports CRS-2 Development
The Phase Two flight test efforts will be highly supportive of, and executed in parallel with continued work being done by SNC under the NASA CRS-2 program. The Dream Chaser test vehicle has been upgraded to include several hardware and software components being integrated into the Dream Chaser Cargo System design for the CRS-2 program, allowing for actual flight testing of the new components. The flight tests will act as a bridge between previous work with CCP and the next-generation vehicle currently under development for the forthcoming International Space Station cargo resupply missions.

Photo Cutline: Dream Chaser test vehicle prepares to ship.

SNC Dream Chaser test vehicle.jpg

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Draggendrop    5,175

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dream Chaser Spacecraft Arrives at NASA Armstrong

 

Quote

Sierra Nevada Corporation delivered its Dream Chaser spacecraft Wednesday to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, located on Edwards Air Force Base. The spacecraft will undergo several months of testing at the center in preparation for its approach and landing flight on the base's 22L runway.

 

The test series is part of a developmental space act agreement SNC has with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The upcoming test campaign will help SNC validate the aerodynamic properties, flight software and control system performance of the Dream Chaser.

 

The Dream Chaser is also being prepared to deliver cargo to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract beginning in 2019. The data that SNC gathers from this test campaign will help influence and inform the final design of the cargo Dream Chaser, which will fly at least six cargo delivery missions to and from the space station by 2024.

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/dreamchaser_arrives_at_armstrong.html

 

afrc2017-0016-012.jpg?itok=BKWyQaxi

The Dream Chaser spacecraft pictured in California's desert as it heads to Edwards Air Force Base.
Credits: NASA Photo / Ken Ulbrich

 

 

Dream Chaser Spacecraft Arrives at Armstrong

 

AFRC2017-0016-008.jpg

SNC/NASA

 

Quote

Sierra Nevada Corporation delivered its Dream Chaser spacecraft Wednesday to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, located on Edwards Air Force Base. The spacecraft will undergo several months of testing at the center in preparation for its approach and landing flight on the base’s 22L runway.

 

The test series is part of a developmental space act agreement SNC has with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The upcoming test campaign will help SNC validate the aerodynamic properties, flight software and control system performance of the Dream Chaser.

 

The Dream Chaser is also being prepared to deliver cargo to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract beginning in 2019. The data that SNC gathers from this test campaign will help influence and inform the final design of the cargo Dream Chaser, which will fly at least six cargo delivery missions to and from the space station by 2024.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2017/01/26/dream-chaser-spacecraft-arrives-at-armstrong/

 

 

PHOTOS: Dream Chaser Delivered to Edwards AFB for Next Flight Test

 

Quote

It has been just over a year now since NASA announced the winners of their multi-billion dollar second round of Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-2) contracts to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) from 2019 through 2024. SpaceX and Orbital ATK both secured contracts, but Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), who was not selected by NASA for a big commercial crew contract in 2014, was awarded a CRS-2 cargo contract too, allowing for the dream of their Dream Chaser spaceplane to now become a reality.

 

This week SNC took another significant step towards that reality, delivering an engineering test article of their “mini shuttle” to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, located at Edwards Air Force Base, where it will now undergo several months of testing in preparation for its next approach and landing flight test on the base’s 22L runway.

more at the link...

http://www.americaspace.com/?p=97971

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DocM    12,925

https://www.sncorp.com/press-releases/snc-dc-crs2-milestone-3/

 


SPARKS, Nev., May 25, 2017  SPARKS, Nev. (May 25, 2017)  Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) successfully passed the third integration milestone for the Dream Chaser program under the NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS2) program, bringing it a major step closer to providing resupply services to the International Space Station (ISS). 

CRS2 Integration Review #3 (IR3) confirmed SNCs Dream Chaser Cargo System design meets NASAs key requirements and maximizes probability of mission success during future flights.  The spacecraft is scheduled for at least six missions between 2019 and 2024. The reliability of the Dream Chaser design was also thoroughly reviewed as part of NASAs Phase I Safety Review Process, which successfully demonstrated safety and mission assurance criteria.   The reviews covered all stages of mission operations including ground, launch, flight and landing. 

Passing the third CRS2 integration milestone is a really big deal for the program and its future, said Steve Lindsey, vice president of Space Exploration Systems for SNCs Space Systems business area. We are proud of this accomplishment and  are well on our way towards completing the next critical milestone and the remaining developmental phases.  Its a great feeling to be executing all our milestones on schedule and to be moving forward to our operational flight.

The spacecrafts unique cargo design transports more cargo mass (5,500 kilograms) to the ISS each mission.  In addition, a significant amount of cargo, almost 2,000 kilograms is directly returned from the ISS to a gentle runway landing at a pinpoint location. Dream Chasers all non-toxic systems design allows personnel to simply walk up to the vehicle after landing, providing immediate access to time-critical science as soon as the wheels stop.

The complex and thorough review process found no significant design, build or system issues and underscored the Dream Chasers readiness for flight.

The major elements of Milestone 3 included:
  • Successful completion of the NASA Phase 1 Safety Review
  • 32 Hazard Reports and 16 Safety Data Packages approved by NASA
  • Dream Chaser Architectural Designs met all CRS2 requirements (hardware, software, flight dynamics, thermal control, etc.)
  • More than 100 detailed design documents were delivered to NASA along with 30+ design reviews
  • During the three-day IR3 review, more than 1,000 charts were briefed to the approximate 45 member NASA and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) team, which demonstrated that Dream Chaser is at Preliminary Design Review level of maturity
  • Launch vehicle operations, outside subcontracts and agreements
  • Range safety plan, as well as FAA, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) licensing
  • 5 Safety Review Phase 1 meetings were conducted prior to the IR3 review and involved the delivery of 46 individual Safety Data Packages developed under our S&MA team.

In addition to completing this milestone, the Dream Chaser atmospheric test vehicle is in preparations for flight testing that will help verify these designs. The spacecraft is currently testing at NASAs Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, having just successfully completed Phase One ground testing leading up to its second free flight test later this year.
>

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DocM    12,925
Posted (edited)

French site....

 

http://www.futura-sciences.com/sciences/actualites/dream-chaser-ariane-6-lancera-t-elle-mini-navette-dream-chaser-66745/

 

Quote

>

The first launch of the Dream Chaser will be made by an Atlas V launcher from ULA. However, to date, the mini-shuttle of Sierra Nevada still has no launcher . The company - which has signed a contract with NASA for the provision of freight services to and from the International Space Station (ISS) for at least six flights - has therefore launched a call for tenders to operators of launch.

Each proposed a solution. So;

Arianespace proposes the Ariane 6 in its version with four boosters

Blue Origin offers its New Glenn launcher

ULA offers the Vulcan

SpaceX offers its Falcon 9

The decision to award the contract is expected this spring.
>

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Unobscured Vision    2,163
Posted (edited)

Likely scenario?

Quote

SpaceX offers its Falcon 9

:yes: 

It'll be the only current Human-rated rocket among the bunch capable of getting it uphill that isn't currently on the drawing board.

Quote

ULA offers the Vulcan

Hlaugh.thumb.gif.ad724a761b3d8cbbe794119ae26634e5.gif

OH -- and since we're all about "being inclusive" ... (wouldn't want the Left thinking we're not handing out Participation Trophies) ...

Quote

The first launch of the Dream Chaser will be made by an Atlas V launcher from ULA.

tenor.thumb.gif.f4a58ca0e25d1a7893d2ab11ef02cf54.gif

I'll just say what I think about that with Chris Farley.

Edited by Unobscured Vision
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IsItPluggedIn    1,666
18 hours ago, Unobscured Vision said:

It'll be the only current Human-rated rocket among the bunch capable of getting it uphill that isn't currently on the drawing board.

 

I thought this was only for CRS not the human component. I suppose they should go with the provider which can provide them human launches when the time comes though.

 

This is for a contract that starts in a 19 months only 2 of the providers are currently flying.

 

Falcon 9 - Flying

Ariane 6 - Flying 

New Glenn

Vulcan 

 

Will NASA allow them to Launch from Europe or would Arianespace need to launch from the USA.

 

It would be better for SNC to have more than 1 provider however this being able to keep flying if there was an issue, also from memory some European parties were in talks with SNC about the dream chaser. 

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DocM    12,925
Posted (edited)

Ariane 5 is flying, but Ariane 6 won't fly until 2020-ish.

 

http://m.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Transportation/Launch_vehicles/Ariane_6

 

Getting the CRS Round 2 contract is a means to an end: to find the remaining work on Crew Dream Chaser. Then it can compete in the Commercial Crew Round 2 program in the early 2020's.

 

Dream Chaser was designed to be launcher agnostic and ITAR free (US arms control regulations), allowing it to fly on overseas launchers. Ariane 6 would be from Kourou, French Guiana.

 

There was also a program at ESA Germany called DC4E (Dream Chaser for European Utilization) which is still ongoing, and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) plans at least one Dream Chaser mission so member states without space programs can fly their experiments.

 

Dream Chaser will use ESA's IBDM androgynous docking port - built by QinetiQ, SENER, Ruag AG and Maxon.

 

http://m.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Dream_Chaser_to_use_Europe_s_next-generation_docking_system

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flyingskippy    129

My money is on ULA. Lockmart already has their hands in the pot on DC. Too many old space companies involved with this one. 

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DocM    12,925

Maybe not, for costs and Vulcan still isn't a done deal because Boeing has been driving that boat. Boeing itself has talked about Falcon 9 for Crew Starliner after the 2-3 contracted Atlas V launches because of costs. New Glenn would provide added launcher redundancy for cargo. 

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Unobscured Vision    2,163

And the Boeing/LockMart paperwork to form/regulate the cooperative venture (aka ULA) has expired, but that doesn't really mean much in the grand scheme of things I think. Pentagon oversight being chief among those items that's expiring, so my personal opinion is that ULA will continue as-is for now.

 

Something I find interesting is that there's been NO movement of the BE-4 or Vulcan development process .. sooooo ... either nothing is going on right now from the minor kaboom (most likely) or they're not moving on it because ULA doesn't actually have the funding to move on it. With all that's transpired on SLS's development woes that wouldn't surprise me.

 

So where does that leave DC as far as a launcher go? Atlas V, Arianne 6, or Falcon-9.

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DocM    12,925

Or New Glenn, assuming it fles on time.

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Unobscured Vision    2,163

That's what I'm thinking too. If ULA is relying on New Glenn, then we'll know the answer for sure about ULA's future.

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DocM    12,925

They may end up being more a procurement company, applying a Vulcan decal to New Glenn lower stages & sticking ACES on top.

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IsItPluggedIn    1,666

Whoops didn't notice it said 6 not 5.

 

So "six missions between 2019 and 2024."

 

Falcon 9 - Flying

Ariane 6 - Testing 2020 most likely 2021/2022 for actual launches. So 2-3 years possible launches.

New Glenn - Testing 2020 most likely 2021/2022 for actual launches. So 2-3 years possible launches.

Vulcan  - Testing 2019 most likely 2021/2022 for actual launches. So 3-4 years possible launches. But this may never fly.

 

From the above they pretty much have to use Falcon 9 unless the revert to using the Atlas/Delta or Ariane 5.

 

Both SpaceX and boring are competitors of SNC for the Crew/CRS missions, so they may look to using Ariane 5 until New Glenn is flying. Depending on costs though, i dont think the Atlas/Delta/Ariane will be able to keep their costs in check.

 

Do the 6 missions have specific times or could they just do all 6 missions in 2024?

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DocM    12,925
Posted (edited)

They issued SpaceX, SNC and OrbtalATK 6 missions each for CRS Round 2, to be scheduled later and with extra missions contracted as needed. Max value: $14B

 

The same type of extensions took Dragon from 12 CRS Round 1 missions to 20. 

 

And there's a new competition coming to resupply a lunar orbit space station.

Edited by DocM

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