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[b]Sierra Nevada Corporation Completes Dream Chaser Flight Profile Data Milestone[/b]
Sierra Nevada Corp. (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.
The Milestone 4a flight test objectives included the collection of all nominal glide slope and other critical aerodynamic data for the Dream Chaser in-flight profile. The Dream Chaser team collected and evaluated data gathered from additional aerodynamic modeling instrumentation sensors specifically placed onto the Dream Chaser spacecraft prior to the flight test. Upon thorough post flight analysis conducted by the SNC team and review by NASA, the results validated the aerodynamic performance of the Dream Chaser and significantly matured its aerodynamic database in the subsonic region of flight. In addition to demonstrating the Dream Chaser spacecraft's autonomous flight control system in Milestone 4a, the Dream Chaser team was able to authenticate that over 40 aerodynamic predictions from extensive analysis matched within the limits of the actual vehicle performance.
Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of SNC's Space Systems said, "Milestone 4a proved the Dream Chaser flies well and that the path the Dream Chaser will take throughout its expected flight profile can be reliably predicted. SNC was able to show NASA that our trajectory analysis and flight performance modeling tools and techniques were able to accurately forecast the flight performance of Dream Chaser from the start of free flight through runway touchdown. Now that we have successfully passed a second flight-based milestone we have further reassurance that our vehicle design is sound and that our spacecraft can successfully fly within established and expected flight boundaries. We are now advancing and upgrading the Dream Chaser test spacecraft in preparation for additional expanded flight tests in 2014."
SNC is working with NASA's Commercial Crew Program to develop a safe, innovative, modern, flexible and highly-capable crew transportation system for the 21st Century. Dream Chaser provides the only reusable, human-rated lifting-body spacecraft with a commercial runway landing capability, anywhere in the world, and is on the forefront of the commercial human spaceflight industry, offering safe, reliable and cost-effective crew and critical cargo transportation to low-Earth orbit.
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