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Sierra Nevada Eyes Dream Chaser Test Flights in Fall

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Dream_Chaser_LandingSierra Nevada Space Corporation is preparing for a series of Dream Chaser glide flights that will begin in the fall.

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 NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, is more than 90% through the qualification program.

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Sierra Nevada Keeps Expanding Dream Chaser Team

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Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., Aug. 6, 2014 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser® Space System, a reusable commercial orbital transportation system, is progressing through its flight test program and critical design review. As SNC’s Dream Chaser program enters its next phase, SNC is pleased to announce its expanded Dream Chaser – Dream Team – which includes prominent heritage aerospace industry members, small and disadvantaged businesses, as well as university and international space agency partners. Between these additional organizations and its long-term members, SNC continues to build one of the most competent and capable space industry program teams in the world. The growing employment scope and economic impact of the Dream Chaser program now involves 32 states and over 50 congressional districts and is expected to continue to expand as the program matures.

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Sierra Nevada Teams with BioServe on Dream Chaser Micogravity Capabilities

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Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev., Aug. 4, 2014 – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems is pleased to announce it is expanding its relationship with the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) through the signing of a letter of cooperation with CU-Boulder’s BioServe Space Technologies (BioServe). Through the cooperation, SNC and BioServe will jointly explore ways the Dream Chaser® Space Utility Vehicle (SUV) can serve as an orbital platform for scientific experiments in microgravity and space life science research.

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Space Access Society Update

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Space Access Update #136 7/27/14
Copyright 2014 by Space Access Society

In this Issue:

- Bill Gaubatz
- Experienced Engineering Teams And US Space Launch Development Policy
- SLS Sole-Sourcing
- 2014 Space Politics: Halftime Report

  • Senate Appropriations Impasse, Other Legislation
  • Commercial Crew & Cargo at Crossroads
  • Defense Launch & Propulsion Politics

- Supporting Space Access

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Sierra Nevada Announces Agreement With JAXA on Dream Chaser

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Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev., July 23, 2014 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced today the expansion of its Dream Chaser® Space System’s global partnership to include Asia and the Pacific Rim through a recently signed memorandum of cooperative understanding with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). SNC will work with JAXA on potential applications of Japanese technologies and the development of mission concepts for the Dream Chaser spacecraft.  Additionally, SNC and JAXA will explore the possibility of launching and landing the Dream Chaser spacecraft in Japan. This international collaboration will widen the breadth of the global capabilities offered by SNC’s Dream Chaser reusable, lifting-body spacecraft.

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Commercial Crew Partners Continue Milestone Work

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA’s aerospace industry partners for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their  Space Act Agreements with the agency.

NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move ahead with plans to develop the first American spacecraft designed to carry people into space since the space shuttle.

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Sierra Nevada Completes Dream Chaser Technology Readiness Level Milestone

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Former astronaut Lee Archambault Dream Chaser crew test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Former astronaut Lee Archambault Dream Chaser crew test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., July 22, 2014 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces it has successfully passed Milestone 9, the Risk Reduction and Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Advancement Testing milestone, for several critical Dream Chaser® systems under NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement. Milestone 9 culminated in a major comprehensive review of various hardware systems. To date, SNC has received 92 percent of the total award value of the CCiCap agreement.

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Remaining Commercial Crew Milestones for All Companies

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NASA Commercial Crew Program Remaining Milestones
July 2014

No. Description Original Date Status Amount
BOEING
19 Critical Design Review (CDR) Board. Boeing shall establish and demonstrate a critical baseline design of the CCTS that meets system requirements. CDR confirms that the requirements, detailed designs, and plans for test and evaluation form a satisfactory basis for production and integration. April 2014 3Q 2014 $17.9 Million
21A Boeing Spacecraft Safety Review. Boeing shall prepare and conduct a Phase 2 Safety Review of the Commercial Crew Transportation System (CCTS) Spacecraft Critical Design Review (CDR) level requirements, system architecture and design, and associated safety products to assess conformance with Commercial Crew Transportation System certification process (CDR-level products). Focus is review of the updated hazard reports, hazard causes and controls, and specific safety verification methods to reflect the CDR level of design detail for the CCTS Spacecraft Segment. July 2014 3Q 2014 $20 Million
TOTAL REMAINING (OUT OF $480 MILLION): $37.9 Million
SIERRA NEVADA CORPORATION
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 March 2015 $8 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 3Q 2014 $17 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 3Q 2014 $10 Million
TOTAL REMAINING (OUT OF $227.5 MILLION): $35 Million
SPACEX
11 Pad Abort Test. SpaceX will conduct a pad abort test of the Dragon spacecraft. The scenario where an abort is initiated while the CTS is still on the pad is a design driver for the launch abort system as it dictates the total impulse and also requires parachute deployment in close proximity to the ground. December 2013 3Q 2014 $30 Million
12 Dragon Primary Structure Qualification. SpaceX will conduct static structural testing of all Dragon primary structure components to ultimate load factors, as applicable. This series of tests will validate the Dragon structure’s ability to maintain integrity during all driving load cases as well as verify the accuracy of math models used to analyze the Dragon structure. Individual tests will be designed to exercise all credible failure modes and minimum margin areas. January 2014 2nd Half 2014 $30 Million
13B Ground Systems and Mission Operations Critical Design Review (CDR). Part 2 of the CDR focused on ground systems and mission operations. The goal of the CDR is to demonstrate that the maturity of the CTS design is appropriate to support proceeding with full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration and test. March 2014 August 2014 $3 Million
13C Crew Vehicle Technical Interchange Meetings. Part 3 of the CDR. The goal of the CDR is to demonstrate that the maturity of the CTS design is appropriate to support proceeding with full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration and test. March 2014 September 2014 $5 Million
13D Delta Crew Vehicle Critical Design Review (CDR). The final milestone in the CDR.The goal of the CDR is to demonstrate that the maturity of the CTS design is appropriate to support proceeding with full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration and test.
March 2014 November 2014 $5 Million
14 In-Flight Abort Test. SpaceX will conduct an in-flight abort test of the Dragon spacecraft. The in-flight abort test will supplement the pad abort test and complete the corners-of-the-box stress cases. The in-flight abort scenario represents a Dragon abort while under propulsive flight of the launch vehicle during the worst-case dynamic loads on the CTS. April 2014 March 2015 $30 Million
TOTAL REMAINING (OUT OF $460 MILLION): $103 Million
BLUE ORIGIN
1.4 Space Vehicle Subsystem Interim Design Review. Review space vehicle subsystem design progress with emphasis on power and actuation systems, in-space propulsion, multiplex avionics, flight mechanics and GN&C. March 2014 2nd Half 2014 $0
TOTAL REMAINING: $0
TOTALS — ALL COMPANIES
TOTAL REMAINING (OUT OF $1.17 BILLION) : $175.9 Million

Sierra Nevada Completes Acquisition of ORBITEC

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Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev. (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces it completed the acquisition of Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC), headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. The company will continue its operations in Madison, while supporting SNC’s Space Systems in Louisville, Colorado.

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Sierra Nevada Commercial Crew Status for July 2014

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Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Sierra Nevada Commercial Crew Milestones Status
Award Period: August 2012 – March 2015
Total Milestones: 13
Milestones Completed: 10
Milestones Pending: 3
Total Possible Award: $227.5 Million
Total Awarded to Date: $192.5 Million

Total Award Remaining: $35 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
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 Complete
$20 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 Complete
$8
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):
$192.5
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 March 2015
$8 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 3Q 2014
$17 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 3Q 2014
$10 Million
TOTAL: $227.5 Million