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ROCKET SCIENCE
Sierra Nevada Announces the Completion of Four Dream Chaser Milestones FOR NASA
by Staff Writers
Sparks, NV (SPX) Jun 01, 2012


The Dream Chaser Team has made significant progress in hardware development during the Commercial Crew Program.

Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Space Systems announces that the Dream Chaser Space System has successfully completed four additional NASA Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) Program Milestones. The four Milestones included: Separation System Testing, Flight Article Main Landing Gear Drop Testing, Captive Carry Interface Testing, and a Captive Carry Flight Test Readiness Review.

Dream Chaser's Separation System Testing served to evaluate the Dream Chaser-to-Atlas V launch vehicle separation system. Such a system will be used to release the Dream Chaser from the Atlas V second stage after the launch vehicle has placed it into low Earth orbit.

The Flight Article Main Landing Gear Drop Testing successfully evaluated the performance of the landing gear selected for use on the Engineering Test Article for Approach and Landing Tests (ALT), scheduled for later this year.

The Captive Carry Interface Test successfully tested the release mechanism that will be used during ALT, as well as for Captive Carry.

During the Captive Carry Flight Test Readiness Review, completed on May 24th, SNC management approved proceeding with the first full scale flight test of the Dream Chaser Flight Vehicle.

During this risk reduction test, the Dream Chaser will fly under an Erickson Sky Crane helicopter to verify proper aerodynamic flight performance that will inform future free flight testing. The flight will occur near the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Jefferson County, Colo.

"The Dream Chaser Team has made significant progress in hardware development during the Commercial Crew Program. The success of these milestones shows the rapid progress that a commercial company like SNC can make in partnership with NASA", said Senior Director Merri Sanchez.

Sanchez joined SNC after 28 years at NASA, her extensive experience within the agency includes serving as the X-38 Deputy Project Manager.

"NASA's Commercial Crew Program has created an opportunity for SNC to create an orbital crew transportation system that will safely and reliably transport astronauts to the International Space Station for a significant cost savings over traditional systems," said Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President and head of SNC's Space Systems.

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