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SNC's Flight Vehicle Rolls through Ground Tests [Shuttle Replacement]
Product Design and Development ^ | 8/14/2013 | Stephanie Covey and Rebecca Regan

Posted on 08/14/2013 12:31:09 PM PDT by Rio

Hours before the heat rose in the Mojave Desert of Southern California on Aug. 2 the Dream Chaser rolled out of a hangar at dawn as teams prepared to pull the flight vehicle through a series of 60 mph ground tow tests.

View: Bonus Photos of the Day: Dream Chaser Takes on Ground Tests

These tests were the fourth of incremental range and taxi tow tests that Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) performed to prove the spacecraft's braking and landing systems could handle upcoming captive-carry and approach-and-landing tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center.

The tests were performed in preparation for pre-negotiated, paid-for-performance flight milestones with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), which is facilitating the development of American-made spacecraft and rocket combinations that can launch from U.S. soil.

"The dedicated Dream Chaser team has been putting the test spacecraft through comprehensive integrated testing on the runway, ramps and hangar of the historic California site, finding issues on the ground and addressing them in preparation for upcoming free flights," said Cheryl McPhillips, NASA Partner Manager working with SNC during the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative.

SNC engineers performed sequential low- and high-speed ground tow tests throughout the course of two months. A pickup truck pulled the flight vehicle across Dryden's concrete runways at 10, 20, 40 and 60 mph to verify the integrity of spacecraft's performance under landing and rollout conditions. Through a reimbursable Space Act Agreement with the center, the company is utilizing Dryden's unique testing facilities and experienced flight-test personnel to prove the system is safe.

"We are happy to contribute our flight research and testing expertise to this project," said NASA Dryden center director David McBride. "Dryden has a rich history of testing advances in aerospace technology from the early lifting body aircraft, through the shuttle program and now the next generation of manned spacecraft."

The Dream Chaser flight vehicle verifications included flight computer and flight software, instrumentation, guidance, navigation and control, braking and steering performance, flight control surface actuation, mission control and remote commanding capability, and landing gear dynamics.

"We are very excited to complete this series of tests and achieve another critical milestone for our Dream Chaser flight test program," said Steve Lindsey, senior director of programs for SNC's Space Systems and former NASA astronaut. "Watching Dream Chaser undergo tow testing on the same runway where we landed several space shuttle orbiters brings a great amount of pride to our Dream Chaser team."

SNC is one of three companies funded under CCiCap to develop a next-generation integrated crew transportation system. The flight testing at Dryden is part of the company's ongoing development work in support of its CCiCap and Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) agreement with the agency.

"I look forward to seeing this bird land on the old shuttle runway this fall," said McPhillips. "SNC and our other partners are working diligently to enable this country to safely fly crew from and back to the U.S."


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: dreamchaser; nasa

1 posted on 08/14/2013 12:31:09 PM PDT by Rio
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To: Rio

OOOoooooh!


2 posted on 08/14/2013 12:39:06 PM PDT by eCSMaster (Palin was right (again)!)
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“A pickup truck”

“And I will get a pickup truck and perhaps a recreational vehicle. They let you drive state-to-state, no papers?”

“No papers”.

Ah, the good old days.

Well, let’s see her fly. Looks cool.


3 posted on 08/14/2013 12:40:40 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: Rio

Dam thing nearly killed Steve Austin


4 posted on 08/14/2013 12:43:05 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: al baby

Previously known as the ‘Dyna Soara’


5 posted on 08/14/2013 12:46:45 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: Rio
DreamChaser atop Atlas rocket.. There would be a payload bay BETWEEN the DreamChaser and the rocket motors, right? Could DreamChaser also be used to ferry Astronauts to International Space Station, too?

That would be one cool rocket to watch being launched!

6 posted on 08/14/2013 12:47:16 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (If Americans were as concerned for their country as Egyptians are, Obama would be ousted!)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America

I am referring to the gold colored tube below the DreamChaser.. Would there be a satellite payload in there too?


7 posted on 08/14/2013 12:48:21 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (If Americans were as concerned for their country as Egyptians are, Obama would be ousted!)
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To: Rio

Anyone know what it’s mission is? Just a people hauler plus a small cargo of life support supplies?


8 posted on 08/14/2013 12:49:20 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Rio

I have dreamed of building my own ship and it looked almost exactly like that!

awesome


9 posted on 08/14/2013 12:49:55 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America

I wonder if there is an option for the DreamChaser to escape launch if aborted?

10 posted on 08/14/2013 12:50:35 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (If Americans were as concerned for their country as Egyptians are, Obama would be ousted!)
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To: Rio

Mini Cooper of Space Shuttledom.


11 posted on 08/14/2013 12:51:23 PM PDT by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us about 0bama's America)
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To: Red_Devil 232

You could fit a small satellite in the gold banded area of the Atlas, I think. This configuration has lots of possibilities. SpaceX or Virgin could pick this up and sell rides. LOL. I know ‘Virgin’ has their own platform in the works.


12 posted on 08/14/2013 12:52:36 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (If Americans were as concerned for their country as Egyptians are, Obama would be ousted!)
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To: Rio

Looks like something from a James bond movie. Great job, Q!

As they say at the pilots watering holes, I’d ride it. (amongst other things)


13 posted on 08/14/2013 12:58:37 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi --)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America

I think... I don’t know, but that MIGHT be a liquid fueled second stage.


14 posted on 08/14/2013 1:07:03 PM PDT by TalonDJ
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To: Rio

The lifting body design looks a lot like the craft that made pilot Steve Austin famous.


15 posted on 08/14/2013 1:25:19 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (So Obama "inherited" a mess? Firemen "inherit" messes too. Ever see one put gasoline on it?)
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To: TalonDJ

Could be second stage, but if that’s the case I don’t see the viability/feasibility of launching ONLY the DreamChaser and not having another cargo bay below it to launch something larger.


16 posted on 08/14/2013 1:26:19 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (If Americans were as concerned for their country as Egyptians are, Obama would be ousted!)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
Without some sort of articulated arm...or a docking assembly on the nose of the orbiter, there is no way to extract a payload or even deploy it.

So I'm guessing no.

17 posted on 08/14/2013 1:27:36 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (So Obama "inherited" a mess? Firemen "inherit" messes too. Ever see one put gasoline on it?)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Good point. The entire integral cargo bay is missing from this compared with the shuttle. It’s not even clear where the docking port is.


18 posted on 08/14/2013 1:39:17 PM PDT by Rio
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To: Rio

The docking ring is in the tail.


19 posted on 08/14/2013 2:27:52 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Rio
Remember the movie "Marooned"?


20 posted on 08/14/2013 2:40:21 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Well, the DreamChaser would have to ‘separate’ early with small boost into orbit, then the second stage of Atlas separates then ‘burners’ into orbit, then cowling is discarded and VOILA, A SATELLITE!


21 posted on 08/14/2013 2:53:57 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (If Americans were as concerned for their country as Egyptians are, Obama would be ousted!)
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To: Rio

I hope the wings flap...I can’t imagine the craft being able to stay aloft in the atmosphere with the angle of those wings...


22 posted on 08/14/2013 3:26:03 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool

re-defining the term “glide.”


23 posted on 08/14/2013 3:28:04 PM PDT by Rio
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