Headlines > News > Sierra Nevada Corporation Announces Shipment of Dream Chaser Flight Vehicle to NASA

Sierra Nevada Corporation Announces Shipment of Dream Chaser Flight Vehicle to NASA

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue May 14, 2013 6:27 am via: SNC
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Sparks, NV – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems has completed assembly and testing of the Dream Chaser spacecraft in preparation for shipping the flight vehicle from SNC’s Space Systems headquarters in Louisville, Colo., to  NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Upon arrival at NASA Dryden, the Dream Chaser will continue a series of tests, including runway tow, ground resonance, and a captive carry flight. These tests will be completed before the Dream Chaser flight vehicle’s first autonomous free flight Approach and Landing Test (ALT).

“NASA Dryden has always played a vital role in the testing of American flight vehicles,” said Mark Sirangelo head of SNC’s Space Systems “As the Dream Chaser program takes flight, this unique opportunity to conduct our tests at the same location as the Space Shuttle began its flight brings great pride to our team. We are one step closer to returning U.S. astronauts on a U.S. vehicle to the International Space Station and in doing so continuing the long standing and proud legacy that was the Space Shuttle program.”

The flight tests will help SNC to determine the glide and landing characteristics of the Dream Chaser, the only lifting body vehicle funded under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. A similar program was completed for the iconic Space Shuttle in 1977 at NASA Dryden when the Space Shuttle Enterprise conducted an ALT as a critical flight test milestone.

In describing the test series Jim Voss, SNC’s vice president of Space Exploration Systems said, “This will be the first full scale flight test of the Dream Chaser lifting body and will demonstrate the unique capability of our spacecraft to land on a runway. Other flight tests will follow to validate the aerodynamic data used to control the vehicle in the atmosphere when it returns from space.  This is a huge step forward for the SNC and NASA teams towards providing our nation with safe and reliable transportation to the International Space Station.”

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