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Thread: Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser

  1. #1
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    Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser

    Could not find a thread dedicated to Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser.

    Starting this as they have just successfully done a test.

    https://spaceflight101.com/dream-cha...light-testing/

    Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser took to the skies over California’s Edwards Air Force Base on Wednesday for the first captive carry flight in the craft’s current round of testing that will ultimately see the space plane fly freely for approach and landing tests as part of its flight qualification for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 contracts.

    The winged space plane spent over one and a half hours in the air on Wednesday, suspended under a 234-UT lifting helicopter to gather data on the craft’s aerodynamic behavior and guidance & control system before the craft was gently set down on its main gear and nose skid to end the day’s operation. Another captive carry test is expected to follow before upgrading to free flight tests that will be the ultimate test for the craft’s autonomous control system and clear the way for the initial cargo-delivery mission to the International Space Station in 2020.

  2. #2
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    This week's Space Review takes a look at Dream Chaser.

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3319/1

    The high desert, at sunrise, is peaceful. The temperature is comfortably cool and the air is calm, a far cry from the heat that will soon bake the desert floor. A good time to take in the stark beauty of the landscape.

    It’s also a good time for a flight test. As the Sun edged higher into the sky, the twin rotors of a Columbia 234UT helicopter—the civilian version of the military’s Chinook—started up. The helicopter took off, trailing a cable that, on the other end, was connected to the engineering test article of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC’s) Dream Chaser vehicle. The helicopter hovered as the cable became taut to perform some final tests, and then flew higher, lifting the Dream Chaser off its cradle and into the air. For the first time in nearly four years, Dream Chaser was airborne.

    For more than 90 minutes, the helicopter carried Dream Chaser in the skies above Edwards Air Force Base in California. To the untrained observer it looked like the vehicles were simply flying in circles, but SNC used the flight to test out various Dream Chaser systems, all to the company’s satisfaction.

  3. #3
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    Now it has done a glide test successfully

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/11/1...e-test-flight/

    An atmospheric test article of Sierra Nevada Corp.’s Dream Chaser spaceship made a successful runway landing Saturday at Edwards Air Force Base in California after a glide test flight performed to verify the craft’s handling qualities and guidance systems before future resupply missions to the International Space Station.

    The unpiloted spacecraft was dropped from a helicopter and landed on Runway 22L at Edwards, the same landing strip that returning space shuttles once used.

    Sierra Nevada celebrated the accomplishment on Twitter, releasing four photos of the Dream Chaser’s flight test, which was expected and long planned, but not publicly announced in advance. More information and imagery of the landing will be released Monday, the company said.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Now it has done a glide test successfully
    Now watch the video.

    https://www.geekwire.com/2017/snc-sh...t-flight-test/

    Today SNC shared a video of Saturday’s test flight as well as its basic statistics: The uncrewed plane was lofted 12,400 feet into the air by a Columbia 234-UT helicopter, then released at 9:51 a.m. PT Saturday for a gliding flight that reached a maximum speed of 330 mph. The prototype flew for a minute, touched down on the runway traveling at 191 mph, and rolled for 4,200 feet before braking to a stop.

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    Thanks for posting, even if you're not getting a lot of reaction.

    Interesting front landing gear on the craft. Wonder why they went that route?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Thanks for posting, even if you're not getting a lot of reaction.

    Interesting front landing gear on the craft. Wonder why they went that route?
    Simpler, lighter, cheaper.

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


    lonelybirder.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Thanks for posting, even if you're not getting a lot of reaction.
    No problems my mantra is - if it looks interesting to me, it will also be be of interest to others - post it.

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    It may be just a video artifact, though I don't think so, but there seems to be a worrisome oscillation of the rear landing gear. It starts at about the 2:00 mark. It is easily noticeable at regular speed but if you slow it down it is much clearer. Is that kind of thing normal? I wouldn't think so.

  9. #9
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    It looks like it picked up a shimmy, causing the struts and even the gear doors to start oscillating. It didn't look like a video artifact to me.

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


    lonelybirder.org

  10. #10
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    NASA has given Dream Chaser a vote of confidence.

    http://spacenews.com/sierra-nevada-g...cargo-mission/

    NASA has given Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) formal approval for the company’s first cargo mission to the International Space Station in late 2020.

    SNC announced Feb. 7 that it had received “authority to proceed” on that mission using the company’s Dream Chaser vehicle. The mission will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket in late 2020.

    The mission is the first of six in the company’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) 2 contract it won in 2016 to transport cargo to and from the ISS. SNC received a CRS-2 contract along with current CRS providers Orbital ATK and SpaceX.

    “While we won the contract a couple of years ago, the contract still needed to be validated by a task order,” said Mark Sirangelo, executive vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business area, in a Feb. 7 speech at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Conference here. That order, he said, is the “biggest step” to date on the program.

    That flight will be a “full scale, fully operational mission,” he said, even though it will represent the first orbital flight of the Dream Chaser. Orbital ATK and SpaceX, who developed their Cygnus and Dragon spacecraft, respectively, under earlier NASA Space Act Agreements, flew demonstration missions before starting their operational CRS cargo flights.

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