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  [Discuss] SNC's Dream Chaser Cargo System

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] SNC's Dream Chaser Cargo System
Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-17-2015 03:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Editor's note: In an effort to keep the topic CRS-2: Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser Cargo System focused on status updates, feedback and opinions are directed to this thread.

Please use this topic to discuss Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser for commercial cargo resupply services.

SkyMan1958
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posted 01-14-2016 07:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I am glad to see SNC added to the field, does anyone know when they expect their Dream Chaser cargo variant will actually (test) launch on rockets?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-14-2016 10:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sierra Nevada said recently on Twitter that they were waiting for today's award before setting dates:
Still on for Atlas V launch, dependent on NASA CRS-2 award that will set dates and more. Stay tuned!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-15-2016 03:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sierra Nevada held a press conference today to discuss their plans. I missed notice of it but AmericaSpace covered it:
Dream Chaser development will follow the example of Space Shuttle Columbia, STS-1. All the testing and certifications will happen on the ground and within the atmosphere, the first Dream Chaser launch will be an operational mission for NASA under the CRS-2 contract to the ISS. SNC will benefit from 135 shuttle flights and modern testing techniques to ready Dream Chaser for that first mission, and the company says Dream Chaser will be ready for that flight atop a ULA Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. in the first half of 2019.

NASA does not require a first orbital flight test for the Dream Chaser cargo version before its first operational CRS-2 flight.

SkyMan1958
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posted 01-15-2016 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The video states (twice) that the ship is capable of ISS reboost. I thought the propulsion system was in the stern of the vehicle, and in the video, the stern is pointed towards the ISS. Does anyone know how the Dream Chaser would reboost the ISS?

Secondly, one of the sales points is reusability. Does anyone know how many times the Dream Chaser will be reusable? Does anyone know how this compares to the Dragon? (I realize that per NASA rules the cargo Dragon is only used as a one and done vehicle, but theoretically it could be reused.) Is NASA also going to do a one and done with the cargo Dream Chaser?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-15-2016 07:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SNC says Dream Chaser can fly a minimum of 15 times (with 90 percent component reusability). SpaceX's Crew Dragon, which NASA implied was going to be adapted for cargo under CRS-2, can be re-flown 10 times, per SpaceX.

As for Dream Chaser's re-boost capability, I haven't seen any details released by SNC, but it could be they use the nose mounted RCS thrusters.

SkyMan1958
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posted 01-15-2016 11:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Robert!

mercsim
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posted 01-16-2016 09:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mercsim   Click Here to Email mercsim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nose RCS thrusters seem unlikely to be used for that. They would be a pretty small force for such a large mass. They would have to fire for a REALLY long time and consume a lot of fuel that probably isn't carried in the RCS system.

Just because they did it in a movie (Space Cowboys), doesn't mean its technically practical.

alanh_7
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posted 01-17-2016 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Speculation on my part, but perhaps there is some sort of re-boost system idea that is compatible with Dream Chaser and the ISS like NASA was considering for the Shuttle/Skylab program.

dom
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posted 01-17-2016 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting to see illustrations online of the Dream Chaser on top of an Ariane 5. Very fitting considering ESA's cancelled Hermes space shuttle would have flown on that booster. Is this a serious concept or just clever marketing?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 01-17-2016 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In 2014, SNC entered partnerships with ESA and DLR to study uses of the Dream Chaser for European missions.

In 2015, together with OHB System AG, the company completed the initial Dream Chaser for European Utilization study co-funded by the Space Administration of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and OHB.

So while there are no active programs to fly Dream Chaser on Ariane, the concept is more than just a marketing graphic.

dom
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posted 01-17-2016 01:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apparently SNC adopted the folding wings configuration at the suggestion of ESA so it could fly on Ariane 5.

Looks like the company is keeping its options open!

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 01-25-2016 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ESA will invest $36 million into the development of the Dream Chaser and build the first flight model of the vehicle's docking mechanism, SpaceNews reports.
...ESA will begin work building the first flight model of the International Berthing and Docking Mechanism (IBDM), which Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser Cargo System will use to attach itself to the space station.

ESA said it would spend 33 million euros ($36 million) to complete the design of the IBDM and build a flight model for Dream Chaser's first cargo run. Future IBDMs will be financed by Sierra Nevada, ESA said.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-01-2016 09:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Huntsville, Alabama is "the only community" where Sierra Nevada is planning to land its Dream Chaser spaceship anytime soon, the Huntsville Times reports, citing company officials.
"There was a leap of faith on the Huntsville side that we would be a company that could get this vehicle built and start servicing the space station...," Sierra Nevada Vice President John Roth said Thursday. "Yes, we have been approached by other airports for ventures. We're not moving forward at this time with any of those. Right now, Huntsville is the only community we're moving forward with a (landing) license on."

A preliminary local study identified four hurdles to landing Dream Chaser at the Huntsville International Airport: required licenses for the craft and airport, environmental impact approval, Federal Aviation Administration approval of the landing path and possible runway damage.

"We've found nothing that would indicate those items are not satisfactory for going forward," Huntsville International Airport Director of Operations Kevin Vandeberg said.

Interesting wording, "the only community." I'm assuming Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility is not considered to be within a community for the sake of this distinction.

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