Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Commercial Space - Military Space
  SNC Dream Chaser: Second phase of flight tests

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   SNC Dream Chaser: Second phase of flight tests
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38286
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-08-2015 07:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) release
Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser Program Preparing for Second Free-Flight Test and First Orbital Test

In anticipation of a second phase of flight testing, Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Space Systems has announced significant updates to two Dream Chaser spacecraft currently in development. The spacecraft are the atmospheric engineering test article (ETA) and the advanced composite orbital vehicle, which when tested will undergo a suborbital and orbital flight regimen, respectively. SNC's Mark Sirangelo provided a program update at the International Symposium for Commercial and Personal Spaceflight (ISPCS) in New Mexico.

Above: SNC technicians inspect the Dream Chaser ETA.

"The SNC team is readying the ETA in order to begin the second phase of atmospheric flight testing early next year and our strategic partner, Lockheed Martin, is leveraging best practices in tooling and composites to manufacture the first orbital Dream Chaser spacecraft," said Mark. N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president, SNC's Space Systems. "Both efforts have been ongoing simultaneously and we are very pleased with the progress to date."

Since flight test phase one, in which SNC's Dream Chaser ETA successfully returned trajectory data of the flight profile, SNC has made significant structural and systems improvements to the ETA including the composite wings and aeroshells. SNC also invested heavily in maturing the spacecraft orbital avionics, guidance navigation and control, the flight software, and employed a number of new processes, all of which will be used on the orbital vehicle as well. Finally, the advanced orbital Thermal Protection System (TPS), announced in June, was installed on the ETA skid in order to do advanced testing of the actual orbital TPS in this important area.

"The Dream Chaser ETA is currently scheduled to arrive at Armstrong Flight Research Center in early 2016 in order to begin the second phase of atmospheric flight test."

In parallel to the ETA upgrade, SNC has made significant progress on the build of the first Dream Chaser orbital vehicle manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin is leveraging best-practices in composite manufacturing from the Skunk Works, its advanced development programs division, as well as its extensive experience in manufacturing and assembly from the F-35 Lightning II.

Lockheed Martin recently completed the Dream Chaser orbital cabin assembly, marking a significant milestone in the construction of this vehicle. This assembly is the largest high-temperature unitized structure ever fabricated at U.S. Air Force Plant 4. The assembly utilized three-dimensional woven joints, to integrate internal frames with external carbon skins in a single co-bond operation, meaning nearly all fasteners on this critical cabin assembly are eliminated. This state-of–the-art approach to design and manufacturing is a highly efficient and affordable design solution.

"Upon completion, the Dream Chaser orbital vehicle will be the most advanced composite structure ever built. We look forward to Dream Chaser becoming the world leader in this area and to its first orbital flight," said Sirangelo.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38286
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-28-2016 04:50 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 (SNC) release
Dream Chaser Spacecraft to Begin Phase Two Flight Testing

Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Dream Chaser full-scale, flight test vehicle is ready for transportation to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) in California where Phase Two flight tests will be conducted in coordination with Edwards Air Force Base (AFB).

Dream Chaser program upgrades and initial hardware testing were completed at the Louisville, Colorado spacecraft assembly facility, and within the next several weeks the same Dream Chaser vehicle that conducted Phase One flight testing will arrive at NASA's AFRC. Upon arrival, SNC will begin a series of pre-flight ground evaluations to verify and validate the vehicle's system and subsystem designs. After successful completion of all ground testing, Dream Chaser will begin its Phase Two free-flight testing. These activities are being conducted through a Space Act Agreement with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP).

"Dream Chaser continues to make strong progress toward orbital flight," said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC's Space Systems business area. "In addition to Phase Two flight testing, our on-time completion of the first two milestones under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract in the last two months positions us well to be on-schedule for orbital operational flight. We are very grateful for all the support we have received from NASA and the U.S. Air Force, and are excited to continue the legacy of historic flight testing that is the hallmark of NASA AFRC and Edwards AFB."

What Are We Testing?

The vehicle will undergo a series of tests building on those performed in Phase One, including tow-tests, pre-flight tests and ending with free-flight testing. SNC is also performing additional critical tests to validate the Dream Chaser's orbital flight software and calculate the spacecraft's handling and performance characteristics. Along with other pre-flight and post-flight evaluations, this data will be used to confirm Dream Chaser's subsonic aerodynamic properties as well as flight software and control system performance requirements.

"These tests are significant for us in multiple ways; building on our previous flight test, completing a significant milestone under our CCP agreement, as well as gathering crucial data that will help complete the design of the vehicle being built for our CRS-2 contract," said Sirangelo.

CCP Testing Supports CRS-2 Development

The Phase Two flight test efforts will be highly supportive of, and executed in parallel with continued work being done by SNC under the NASA CRS-2 program. The Dream Chaser test vehicle has been upgraded to include several hardware and software components being integrated into the Dream Chaser Cargo System design for the CRS-2 program, allowing for actual flight testing of the new components. The flight tests will act as a bridge between previous work with CCP and the next-generation vehicle currently under development for the forthcoming International Space Station cargo resupply missions.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38286
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-27-2017 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Dream Chaser arrives at NASA Armstrong

Sierra Nevada Corporation delivered its Dream Chaser spacecraft Wednesday to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, located on Edwards Air Force Base. The spacecraft will undergo several months of testing at the center in preparation for its approach and landing flight on the base's 22L runway.

Above: Sierra Nevada Corporation's space vehicle suspends in a hangar at NASA's Armstrong to undergo testing. (NASA/Ken Ulbrich)

The test series is part of a developmental space act agreement SNC has with NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The upcoming test campaign will help SNC validate the aerodynamic properties, flight software and control system performance of the Dream Chaser.

The Dream Chaser is also being prepared to deliver cargo to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract beginning in 2019. The data that SNC gathers from this test campaign will help influence and inform the final design of the cargo Dream Chaser, which will fly at least six cargo delivery missions to and from the space station by 2024.

Above: SNC delivers Dream Chaser to NASA Armstrong posing it with the HL-10 lifting body flown the 1960s. (NASA/Ken Ulbrich)

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38286
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-03-2017 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Sierra Nevada:
The Dream Chaser atmospheric test vehicle is in preparations for flight testing. The spacecraft is currently testing at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, having successfully completed Phase One ground testing leading up to its second free flight test later this year.

May 8 — The Dream Chaser team smiles after a successful low-speed tow test NASA Armstrong.

May 22 — Another day of tow tests at NASA Armstrong for our Dream Chaser spacecraft. We obviously brought the fuzzy dice along for the ride!

May 25 — Dream Chaser spacecraft at dawn.

June 2 — Dream Chaser sun bathing at NASA Armstrong.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38286
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-27-2017 04:48 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 (SNC) video
Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser spacecraft completes a 60mph tow test at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38286
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-31-2017 01:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Dream Chaser space plane makes captive carry test flight

A small space plane was lifted into the skies over southern California on Wednesday (Aug. 30), in a test supporting future commercial cargo deliveries to the International Space Station.

A Columbia 234-UT Chinook helicopter flew Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser engineering test article on a "captive carry" flight above the dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base and NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. The one hour and 41 minute-long fight was the first of two captive tests before a "free flight," or drop test, planned for later this year.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38286
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-13-2017 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Dream Chaser space plane glides to Earth on flight test steeped in history

A small space plane has repeated history — both its own, and that of an earlier iconic winged spacecraft.

Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Dream Chaser flew its first fully successful approach and landing test on Saturday (Nov. 11), dropping from altitude below a carrier helicopter to an autonomous touchdown at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The Veteran's Day test flight repeated a feat carried out in 2013, but without the engineering test article suffering damage from a landing gear failure.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 2017 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement