Skip to comments.Sierra Nevada Studying X-34 As Rocket Testbed
Posted on 12/01/2010 8:30:29 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
Sierra Nevada is emerging as the likely front runner to use the former NASA X-34 reusable launch vehicle demonstrator as a flying testbed for its Dream Chaser orbital space vehicle.
The two surviving Orbital Sciences-built X-34s were moved by road to Mojave, Calif., on Nov. 16 from Edwards AFB, Calif., where they had been in storage since the program was canceled in 2001.
The two 58.3-ft. vehicles, now stored inside a hangar belonging to the National Test Pilots School, were developed under a NASA program begun in 1996 to provide a low-cost advanced technology flight demonstration testbed vehicle for space access.
Sierra Nevada Executive Vice President Mark Sirangelo confirms the company is studying the X-34 for a supporting role in the Dream Chaser development effort. We are interested in this project with our interest being adapting our hybrid rocket motor for our orbital space vehicle Dream Chaser program to the X-34 as a test platform.
Although Sirangelo says it remains too early to provide further details, he says the X-34 could likely be adapted for carriage beneath the Scaled Composites-built WhiteKnightTwo mothership, as well as the Orbital L-1011 which last carried the vehicle aloft for three flights in 1999.
(Excerpt) Read more at aviationweek.com ...
It's a little disappointing to believe the Saturn program may have been our high-water mark.
It's a little disappointing to believe the Apollo Saturn program may have been our high-water mark.
The Saturn booster in use today is a pygmy compared to the Apollo Saturn.
Sounds like it could be a worthy successor to the Sierra Nevada Torpedo.
We have had a crisis of leadership in our nation. It continues today. It is unfathomable for me to understand how/why our leaders so mismanaged the space program. If the Russians had inserted their top spies in the White House, Congress, and NASA they couldn’t have done a better job at destroying our space capabilities than our leaders did.
And that’s just the problems with our space efforts.
There are plenty of other efforts just as effectively mismanaged.