Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dream Chaser flight vehicle scales Rocky Mountain summits

Date:
June 5, 2012
Source:
NASA
Summary:
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems' Dream Chaser design passed one of its most complex tests to date with a successful captive-carry test conducted near the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Jefferson County, Colo., on May 29. Just like the space shuttle before it, SNC's Dream Chaser will go through extensive testing to prove its wings will work. The company built a full-scale flight vehicle of the Dream Chaser spacecraft to carry out the evaluations.

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems' Dream Chaser flight vehicle is lifted by an Erickson Air-Crane helicopter near the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Jefferson County, Colo., on May 29, during a captive-carry test.
Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems' Dream Chaser design passed one of its most complex tests to date with a successful captive-carry test conducted near the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Jefferson County, Colo., on May 29.

Just like the space shuttle before it, SNC's Dream Chaser will go through extensive testing to prove its wings will work. The company built a full-scale flight vehicle of the Dream Chaser spacecraft to carry out the evaluations.

Backdropped by skyscraping summits, an Erickson Air-Crane helicopter lifted the full-scale orbital crew vehicle to verify proper aerodynamic flight performance. Future plans call for the flight vehicle to be released to evaluate the design's handling during the landing phase of a mission.

The captive-carry test marks the completion of another milestone for the Dream Chaser Space System as part of the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) agreement with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP).

"This is a very positive success for the Dream Chaser team and their innovative approach. I applaud and encourage the designers and engineers to continue their efforts in meeting the objectives of the rest of their CCDev2 milestones," said Ed Mango, CCP program manager.

SNC is one of seven companies working to develop commercial crew transportation capabilities to ferry U.S. astronauts to and from low Earth orbit and the International Space Station. The Dream Chaser is designed to carry as many as seven astronauts to space, and is the only spacecraft under CCDev2 that incorporates wings and is designed to land on a conventional runway.

"The successful captive-carry flight test of the Dream Chaser full-scale flight vehicle marks the beginning of SNC's flight test program; a program that could culminate in crewed missions to the International Space Station for NASA," said Steve Lindsey, former NASA astronaut and head of Dream Chaser's flight operations for SNC.

Before the company took to the Rocky Mountain skies, it conducted an interface test to demonstrate the release mechanism between the Dream Chaser prototype and the heavy-lift helicopter. It also conducted a ground-based landing gear drop test and a thorough flight test readiness review with engineers, technical experts and representatives from SNC and NASA.

Another recent milestone included an evaluation of the separation system compatibility of Dream Chaser with its initial launch vehicle, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, which would be used to release the spacecraft from the rocket's second stage after it has placed the spacecraft into low Earth orbit.

Data from the captive-carry test will provide the company an early opportunity to evaluate and prove hardware, facilities and ground operations in preparation for approach and landing tests scheduled for later this year.

All of NASA's CCDev2 partners, including SNC, continue to meet their established milestones in developing commercial crew transportation capabilities.

For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "Dream Chaser flight vehicle scales Rocky Mountain summits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120605171347.htm>.
NASA. (2012, June 5). Dream Chaser flight vehicle scales Rocky Mountain summits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120605171347.htm
NASA. "Dream Chaser flight vehicle scales Rocky Mountain summits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120605171347.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins