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  Sierra Nevada scales Dream Chaser for Stratolaunch

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Author Topic:   Sierra Nevada scales Dream Chaser for Stratolaunch
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30596
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-30-2014 06:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sierra Nevada Corporation release
Sierra Nevada Corporation Develops Design for Stratolaunch Air Launch System for Low Earth Orbit

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) today (Sept. 30) announced a design for an integrated system for human spaceflight that can be launched to low Earth orbit (LEO) using Stratolaunch System's air launch architecture and a scale version of SNC's Dream Chaser spacecraft.

The Dream Chaser is a reusable, lifting-body spacecraft capable of crewed or autonomous flight. Dream Chaser is the only lifting-body spacecraft capable of a runway landing, anywhere in the world. Stratolaunch Systems is a Paul G. Allen project dedicated to developing an air-launch system that will revolutionize space transportation by providing orbital access to space at lower costs, with greater safety and more flexibility.

As designed, the Dream Chaser-Stratolauncher human spaceflight system can carry a crew of three astronauts to LEO destinations. This versatile system can also be tailored for un-crewed space missions, including science missions, light cargo transportation or suborbital point-to-point transportation. The scaled crewed spacecraft design is based on SNC's full-scale Dream Chaser vehicle which, for the past four years, has undergone development and flight tests as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Chuck Beames, president, Vulcan Aerospace Corp and executive director for Stratolaunch Systems said, "Combining a scaled version of SNC's Dream Chaser with the Stratolaunch air launch system could provide a highly responsive capability with the potential to reach a variety of LEO destinations and return astronauts or payloads to a U.S. runway within 24 hours."

"This relationship would expand our portfolio to include the highly flexible Stratolaunch system for launching reusable crewed or uncrewed spacecraft, or for rapid satellite constellation deployment," said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC's Space Systems.

In addition to supporting development of human spaceflight capability, SNC studied satellite launch options and mechanisms, as well as point-to-point transportation options using the Stratolaunch launch system with a Dream Chaser spacecraft derivative. The Stratolaunch system is uniquely designed to allow for maximum operational flexibility and payload delivery from several possible operational sites, while minimizing mission constraints such as range availability and weather.

SNC and Stratolaunch Systems will present more detailed information on Dream Chaser-Stratolauncher at the 65th International Astronautical Congress in Toronto, Canada, on October 1, 2014.

Lou Chinal
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Posts: 1071
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 10-07-2014 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any follow up on Dream Chaser-Stratolauncher from the International Astronautical Congress in Toronto, Canada?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30596
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-07-2014 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sierra Nevada, itself, has not released further details online but here are several news reports from the Congress:

dabolton
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Posts: 313
From: Minooka IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 10-07-2014 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seems like the mini-Dream Chaser could almost be considered the orbital version of SpaceShipOne/Two, i.e. it is SpaceShipThree. Without the shuttlecock wing functionality of course.

Lou Chinal
Member

Posts: 1071
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 10-08-2014 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds like an opportunity for some African or South American country who just happens to be located right on the equator, to build a 15,000 foot runway and get into the space business.

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