EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) – NASA partner Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) of Louisville, Colo., successfully completed a captive-carry test of the Dream Chaser spacecraft Thursday, Aug. 22, at the agency’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.
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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) – NASA announced Thursday it is adding some additional milestones to agreements with three U.S. commercial companies that are developing spaceflight capabilities that could eventually provide launch services to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil.
Video Caption: Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) put its Dream Chaser flight vehicle through a series of ground tests at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The 10, 20, 40 and 60 mile per hour range and taxi tow tests along concrete runways are helping the company assess the performance of the winged vehicle’s braking and landing systems.
SNC’s ongoing development work supports its funded Space Act Agreement with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) during the agency’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) phase. SNC currently is one of three companies working with NASA during CCiCap to return a national capability to launch astronauts to low-Earth orbit from U.S. soil.
Sparks, Nev., August 13, 2013 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces the completion of the Dream Chaser® Space System tow testing at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif. The ground tow tests were conducted in preparation for the upcoming approach and landing test scheduled for the third quarter 2013.
The tow tests were performed in preparation for pre-negotiated, paid-for-performance milestones with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP), which is facilitating U.S. companies’ development of spacecraft and rockets that can launch from American soil.
In previous human spaceflight programs, NASA paid for all aspects of development, testing and operations of human-rated spacecraft. The space agency still plays a sizeable part in spacecraft development through its Commercial Crew Program, but partner companies invest financially as well, and have much more freedom to design and manufacture with their own techniques. NASA’s extensive expertise plays a critical role in numerous areas, including crew safety.
“We want to pay an American company for transportation services and return crew launch capabilities to U.S. soil,” said Ed Mango, NASA Commercial Crew Program manager. “This will only be possible if NASA and its partners continue to make this a joint endeavor.”
Richmond, BC – MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. , a global communications and information company, announced today that it has signed a US$1.7 million contract with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to develop an engineering concept solution to provide on-board communication signal processing capabilities for its Dream Chaser® crew transportation vehicle.
PARKS, Nev., (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is pleased to announce that John Olson, Ph.D., former Assistant Director for Space and Aeronautics, Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President, has joined SNC as vice president of Space Systems.
“SNC and I are truly fortunate to have John Olson join our senior leadership team,” said Mark Sirangelo, head of SNC’s Space Systems. “John’s world-class experience, vision, and energy will enable our success with the Dream Chaser® Space System and our strategic enterprise.”
Video Caption: This time-lapse video shows Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) team attaching the wings and tail of the company’s Dream Chaser flight vehicle May 18. The crew prepared the vehicle for ground and free-flight tests, which are scheduled throughout 2013. SNC is one of only three companies working with NASA to develop space transportation systems capable of flying astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station later this decade. The work completed at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center will demonstrate the winged vehicle’s ability to safely land an astronaut crew on a runway.
NASA PR: Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is putting its Dream Chaser flight vehicle through a series of ground tests at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California in preparation for upcoming captive-carry and free-flight tests.
During two tow tests, a pickup truck pulled the Dream Chaser flight vehicle on Dryden’s concrete runways to validate the performance of the spacecraft’s nose skid, brakes, tires and other systems. The company has performed the tests at 10 and 20 mph, and is working toward 40 and 60 mph tests later this month. Range and taxi tow tests are standard for winged vehicles that touch down on a runway to prove the overall spacecraft handling post-landing.
- The company is a third of the way through 13 key milestones for 2013. It has 19 milestones to complete by next spring.
- Boeing is planning to launch the CST-100 spacecraft on a three-day test flight in 2016.
- The first two CST-100 spacecraft will be launched on Atlas V. However, Boeing is evaluating whether the crew vehicle can be launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9.
- The company is on tract to conduct a pad abort test in December.
- SpaceX plans to fly the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station with a non-NASA crew in mid-2015, if it receives sufficient funding from NASA.
Sierra Nevada Corporation
- The Dream Chaser shuttle has begun tow tests at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, Calif.
- The tow tests are in preparation for drop tests from a helicopter later this year.