Video Caption: Jack Fischer was one of four NASA astronauts to fly approach and landing simulations of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser spacecraft at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The three-day simulations evaluated the spacecraft’s subsonic handling in support of NASA Commercial Crew Program efforts.
By Candrea Thomas
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems Dream Chaser flight vehicle arrived at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., Wednesday to begin tests of its flight and runway landing systems.
The tests are part of pre-negotiated, paid-for-performance milestones with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP), which is facilitating U.S.-led companies’ development of spacecraft and rockets that can launch from American soil. The overall goal of CCP is to achieve safe, reliable and cost-effective U.S. human access to and from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit.
Continue reading ‘Dream Chaser Arrives in California for Testing’
Sparks, NV, May 13, 2013 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems has completed assembly and testing of the Dream Chaser® spacecraft in preparation for shipping the flight vehicle from SNC’s Space Systems headquarters in Louisville, Colo., to NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Upon arrival at NASA Dryden, the Dream Chaser will continue a series of tests, including runway tow, ground resonance, and a captive carry flight. These tests will be completed before the Dream Chaser flight vehicle’s first autonomous free flight Approach and Landing Test (ALT).
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) – Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) Space Systems of Louisville, Colo., has completed its first major, comprehensive safety review of its Dream Chaser Space System. This is the company’s latest paid-for-performance milestone with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP), which is working with commercial space partners to develop capabilities to launch U.S. astronauts from American soil in the next few years.
SPARKS, Nev., April 25, 2013 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems has successfully completed two milestones as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) phase of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
Elements of Sierra Nevada Corp. Space Systems’ Dream Chaser design will undergo significant testing this month, including evaluations of the Thermal Protection System in a phosphor thermography wind tunnel. The Thermal Protection System, or TPS, is the heat shield that keeps super-heated plasma from damaging the spacecraft as it enters Earth’s atmosphere.
The plasma is created by friction between the spacecraft, which is flying in at more than 17,000 mph, and the air in the upper reaches of the atmosphere. The heat shield for the Dream Chaser also challenges designers because it has to hug the aerodynamic form of the spacecraft that is designed to glide to a runway landing after returning from space.
To learn more about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) and its partners, visit our web page.
CCP Spotlight on Development
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is planning for a detailed safety review with NASA and aerospace industry experts to ensure the company’s integrated human space transportation system is progressing to meet mission safety requirements.
Teams will look closely at SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, Dragon spacecraft and flight operations plans for crewed missions to low-Earth orbit during this ninth Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) performance milestone. Through CCiCap, NASA is accelerating the development of systems that can be used by government or commercial customers.
To learn more about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) and its CCiCap partners, visit www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew.
|SpaceX CCiCAP Milestone|
|9.||Safety Review. SpaceX will hold a Safety Review at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, or a nearby facility to demonstrate that the CTS design is progressing toward meeting the Commercial Crew Program’s safety goals.||October 2013||Pending||$50 Million|
HOUSTON (NASA PR) – The Boeing Company of Houston, a NASA Commercial Crew Program (CCP) partner, has successfully completed a preliminary design review (PDR) of the component that would connect the company’s new crew capsule to its rocket.
The review is one of six performance milestones Boeing has completed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative, which is intended to make available commercial human spaceflight services for government and commercial customers. The company is on track to complete all 19 of its milestones during CCiCap.
Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) Space Systems is putting the Engineering Test Article of its Dream Chaser through a Ground Resonance Test at the company’s facilities. The testing is standard for aircraft and helicopters and confirms that vibrations from machinery inside the craft won’t make it shake itself apart.
Preparations for wind tunnel testing continue on track following a recent test readiness review with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). The testing, scheduled for later this month then in May and June, is tied to one of the milestones SNC will meet to reduce risk in spacecraft designs during the agency’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) continues to work with NASA on plans for a Dragon pad abort test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40.