Tag: Sierra Nevada CorporationPage 2 of 19

Sierra Nevada Expands Dream Chaser Work With NASA Marshall, Teledyne Brown

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Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev., March 11, 2014 (SNC PR) 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).

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Sierra Nevada Deepens Cooperation With NASA Marshall on Dream Chaser

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Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

A note from Sierra Nevada Corporation:

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) will host a news conference on Tuesday, March 11, to announce a newly expanded Space Act Agreement. Under this new agreement, Marshall will provide technical expertise to SNC as it plans for integration of on-orbit science payloads on its Dream Chaser spacecraft. Teledyne Brown Engineering, which will provide support to SNC under a Teaming Agreement, will also participate.

News conference participants are:

  • Paul Gilbert, deputy manager of the Flight Programs and Partnerships Office, NASA Marshall
  • Mark McEylea, chief of the Advanced Planning and Integration Office for Marshall’s Mission Operations Laboratory
  • Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems, Louisville, Colo.
  • Rex Geveden, executive vice president of Teledyne Technologies, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Sierra Nevada Completes Dream Chaser Flight Profile Data Review

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Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Louisville, Colo., February 28, 2014 (Sierra Nevada PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces the successful completion of a flight-profile data review milestone for its Dream Chaser® spacecraft.

Completed under the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement, Milestone 4a gave engineers the opportunity to review data from the Dream Chaser flight test that was conducted at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in collaboration with NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center. To date, SNC has completed over 70 percent of its CCiCap agreement total award value, receiving 100 percent of the milestone value awarded for each milestone completed.

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Sierra Nevada Commercial Crew Milestones Status

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Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Sierra Nevada Commercial Crew Milestones Status
Award Period: August 2012 – August 2014
Total Milestones: 13
Milestones Completed: 8
Milestones Pending: 5
Total Possible Award: $227.5 Million
Total Awarded to Date: $164.5 Million

Total Award Remaining: $63 Million

No. Description Original Date Status Amount
1. Program Implementation Plan Review. This is an initial meeting to describe the plan for implementing the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Program, to include management planning for achieving CDR; Design, Development, Testing, and Evaluation activities; risk management to include mitigation plans, and certification activities planned during the CCiCap Base Period. August 2012 Complete $30 Million
2. Integrated System Baseline Review. The Integrated System Baseline Review (ISBR) demonstrates the maturity of the baseline CTS integrated vehicle and operations design of the Dream Chaser Space System (DCSS) consisting of Dream Chaser spacecraft, Atlas launch vehicle, Mission Systems, and Ground Systems supports proceeding with the detailed CTS design. October 2012 Complete $45 Million
3. Integrated System Safety Analysis Review #1. The purpose of the Integrated System Safety Analysis Review #1 is to demonstrate that the systems safety analysis of the Dream Chaser Space System (DCSS) has been advanced to a preliminary maturity level, incorporating changes resulting from the Preliminary Design Review, The DCSS consists of the Dream Chaser spacecraft, launch vehicle, ground systems and mission systems. January 2013 Complete $20 Million
4A. Engineering Test Article Flight Testing. At least one free flight of the Engineering Test Article to characterize the aerodynamics and controllability of the Dream Chaser Orbital Vehicle outer mold line configuration during the subsonic approach and landing phase. April 2013 Complete $7 Million
5. SNC Investment Financing #1. This funding represents SNC’s commitment for significant investing financing. SNC to provide program co-investment of [REDACTED]. July 2013 Complete $12.5 Million
6. Integrated System Safety Analysis Review #2. The purpose of the Integrated System Safety Analysis Review #2 is to demonstrate that the systems safety analysis of the Dream Chaser Space System. October 2013 Complete $20 Million
7. Certification Plan Review. The Certification Plan Review defines the top level strategy for certification of the DCSS that meets the objectives for the ISS Design Reference Mission described in CCT-DRM-1110 Rev Basic. SNC shall conduct a review of the verification and validation activities planned for the Dream Chaser Space System (Dream Chaser spacecraft, Atlas launch vehicle, Ground and Mission Systems). November 2013 Complete $25 Million
10A. Critical Design Review Incremental Design Review #1. This is the first of a series of reviews that support the Dream Chaser Space System ICDR. October 2013 Complete
$5 Million
TOTAL TO DATE
(OUT OF $227.5 Million):
$164.5
Million
4B. Engineering Test Article Flight Testing. The purpose of these additional free flight test(s) is to reduce risk due to aerodynamic uncertainties in the subsonic approach and landing phase of flight and to mature the Dream Chaser aerodynamic database. A minimum of one and up to five additional Engineering Test Article free flight test(s) will be completed to characterize the aerodynamics and controllability of the Dream Chaser Orbital Vehicle outer mold line configuration during the subsonic approach and landing phase. April 2013 Pending 3Q 2014
$8 Million
8. Wind Tunnel Testing. The purpose of this testing is to reduce risk on both the DC vehicle and the DC/Atlas stack by maturing the DC and DCiAtias aerodynamic databases, providing improved fidelity in Reynolds number effects and control surface interactions, and will help determine pre-CDR required updates to the OML or control surface geometry if required. February 2014 Pending 1Q 2014
$20 Million
9. Risk Reduction and TRL Advancement Testing. The purpose of these tests is to significantly mature all Dream Chaser systems to or beyond a CDR level. May 2014 Pending 2Q 2014
$17 Million
9A. Main Propulsion and RCS Risk Reduction and TRL Advancement Testing. The purpose of these tests is to significantly mature the Dream Chaser Main Propulsion System and Reaction Control System to or beyond a CDR level. Risk reduction and Technology Readiness Level improvement tests will be completed for these systems. May 2014 Pending 2Q 2014
$8
Million
15A. Reaction Control System Testing — Incremental Test No. 1. The purpose of the test on this pre-qualification unit is to support eventual qualification/certification by testing the thruster in flight-like environments. July 2014 Pending 3Q 2014
$10 Million
TOTAL: $227.5 Million

Commercial Crew Partners Continue Progress on Milestones

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Commercial_Crew_Milestones_22514WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Commercial Crew integrated Capability (CCiCap) partners are relentlessly moving forward in the joint quest to re-establish U.S. human access to space. All the industry teams have been hard at work meeting their planned CCiCap milestones and maturing their crew transportation systems.

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Sierra Nevada Completes Dream Chaser Incremental Critical Design Review

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Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., January 30, 2014 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces the completion of the Dream Chaser® Incremental Critical Design Review (CDR) with the completion of Milestone 10a under its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement with NASA.

Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of SNC’s Space Systems made the announcement at the Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS®) during his keynote address. RAMS is the premier event in the reliability, availability, and maintainability engineering disciplines. The RAMS event attracted hundreds of safety and reliability practitioners and engineering leaders from around the world.

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Virgin Galactic Suddenly Very Chatty About Engine Progress

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Newton engine (Credi: Virgin Galactic)

Newton engine (Credi: Virgin Galactic)

The exclusive, multi-platform partnership that Virgin Galactic has forged with NBCUniversal has begun to bear fruit over the past two months. The media giant has signed on to chronicle Sir Richard Branson’s flight aboard SpaceShipTwo and all the events leading up to it.

In November, Sir Richard Branson phoned into CNBC from his Necker Island retreat in the Caribbean to announce that Virgin Galactic would begin accepting the virtual currency Bitcoin for SpaceShipTwo reservations.

A month later, NBC News got into the act, with Science Editor Alan Boyle and a film crew trekking out to Mojave for a powered flight of SpaceShipTwo. They went away disappointed when the test was scrubbed due to a rare patch of bad weather in the High Desert.

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Congressional Cuts Force NASA to Send More Money to Russia

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Soyuz TMA-22 crew in space. (Credit: NASA TV)

Soyuz TMA-22 crew in space. (Credit: NASA TV)

NASA’s bill for crew transportation services to the International Space Station is expected to rise to more than $2 billion with the space agency’s latest decision to extend an agreement with the Russian space agency Roscosmos through the spring of 2018.

NASA plans to purchase six additional seats aboard Russian Soyuz transports for 2017 plus emergency crew rescue services through the spring of 2018. A similar deal the space agency signed last May for 2016 and 2017 cost $424 million, or roughly $70 million per seat. How much the new agreement will cost is unknown, but costs have risen sharply over the past several years.

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SNC Announces Plans for First Orbital Dream Chaser Flight, Expanded Florida Operations

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Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Sparks, Nev., Jan. 23, 2014 Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces that it has confirmed that the first orbital flight of its Dream Chaser® Space System will occur on November 1, 2016.  Dream Chaser will be brought to orbit on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket that is being built in Decatur, Alabama and will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

During SNC’s press event at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), which was carried live on NASA TV, Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of Sierra Nevada Space Systems also unveiled the plans for Dream Chaser flight operations and vehicle processing in Florida through a detailed multi-part presentation.

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Scaled Updates RM2 Hot Fire Logs — and Boy Are They Useless

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Nitrous nylon engine test on Jan. 16, 2014. (Credit: Ken Brown)

Nitrous nylon engine test on Jan. 16, 2014 at the Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Ken Brown)

After a two-month gap, Scaled Composites has updated the RocketMotorTwo Hot-Fire Test Summaries page on its website with details of four motor tests run since Nov. 14.

Before you get too excited about this, be aware that the updates actually obscure more than they reveal. The summaries indicate that engine tests took place on specific days, but they provide no real details on what was tested, how long it was fired, or how the tests fit into the overall engine development program. The logs provide an impression of progress and openness while hiding deeper problems in the engine program.

Why are they doing these things? And what exactly are they hiding? Those are really good questions that I will attempt to answer.

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