Author Topic: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests  (Read 63928 times)


Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #1 on: 05/12/2013 06:54 PM »
Nice article Chris! :) I’m looking forward to see the first images of DC in flight to replace the "fancy" artwork we’ve had to tide us over...
« Last Edit: 05/12/2013 09:59 PM by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #2 on: 05/12/2013 06:59 PM »
I like the name if it's true, "Eagle."
Attended space missions: STS-114, STS-124, STS-128, STS-135, Atlas V "Curiosity", Delta IV Heavy NROL-15, Atlas V MUOS-2, Delta IV Heavy NROL-37, SpaceX CRS-9, SpaceX JCSAT-16, Atlas V GOES-R, SpaceX SES-11.

Online BrightLight

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #3 on: 05/12/2013 08:17 PM »
I look forward to a spectacular heavenly body - returning to earth :)

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #4 on: 05/13/2013 01:00 AM »
Nice article Chris! :) I’m looking forward to see the first images of DC in flight to replace the "fancy" artwork we’ve had to tide us over...

Thanks. Although they've had some very nice artwork for this vehicle already.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #5 on: 05/13/2013 01:16 AM »
Nice article Chris! :) I’m looking forward to see the first images of DC in flight to replace the "fancy" artwork we’ve had to tide us over...

Thanks. Although they've had some very nice artwork for this vehicle already.
Very nice indeed Chris! We will continue to be grateful for any more SNC wishes to share with us. :)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Jason Sole

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #6 on: 05/13/2013 02:25 AM »
I like the name. I assume the other names are in L2, but can anyone say if they are good names too?

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #7 on: 05/13/2013 02:29 AM »
I like the name. I assume the other names are in L2, but can anyone say if they are good names too?

Only one other name (for the orbital test article), and I don't have a problem with it myself, but this is highly subjective, of course.  It's also not-confirmed, just as this one is, as Chris mentioned.

Offline Longhorn John

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #8 on: 05/13/2013 02:41 AM »
Another very good article on Dream Chaser, thanks!

I like the names, both what they may use and what they've been using as code names.

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #9 on: 05/13/2013 02:34 PM »
Question :

Is the Engineering Test Article (ETA), the same airframe mockup that was carried by Helicopter in Colorado ??

Then the Flight Test Article (FTA) is the airframe that is being built by Lockheed ?

I was wondering whether they had built enough controls for the aero surfaces into the ETA, and that could have been the cause for the delays. They probably need the FTA airframe in order to successfully complete the free flight / drop tests. Sure, they could probably use the existing ETA for the drop tests, but it might not do much more than emulate a falling rock.


Online Chris Bergin

Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #10 on: 05/13/2013 02:38 PM »
Question :

1) Is the Engineering Test Article (ETA), the same airframe mockup that was carried by Helicopter in Colorado ??

2) Then the Flight Test Article (FTA) is the airframe that is being built by Lockheed ?

3) I was wondering whether they had built enough controls for the aero surfaces into the ETA, and that could have been the cause for the delays. They probably need the FTA airframe in order to successfully complete the free flight / drop tests. Sure, they could probably use the existing ETA for the drop tests, but it might not do much more than emulate a falling rock.



In the style of Jim:

1) Yes.

2) Yes.

3) You're making assumptions based on what? I wrote about what caused the delay. No idea where you're going with the rest of that.

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #11 on: 05/13/2013 03:12 PM »
Question :

1) Is the Engineering Test Article (ETA), the same airframe mockup that was carried by Helicopter in Colorado ??

2) Then the Flight Test Article (FTA) is the airframe that is being built by Lockheed ?

3) I was wondering whether they had built enough controls for the aero surfaces into the ETA, and that could have been the cause for the delays. They probably need the FTA airframe in order to successfully complete the free flight / drop tests. Sure, they could probably use the existing ETA for the drop tests, but it might not do much more than emulate a falling rock.



In the style of Jim:

1) Yes.

2) Yes.

3) You're making assumptions based on what? I wrote about what caused the delay. No idea where you're going with the rest of that.

Maybe I'm just looking for some action in the DC thread, since it doesn't seem that the SNC engineering teams are not generating much news. Does anyone get much excitement from these NASA review milestones, other than maybe the accountants ?

Offline Martin FL

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #12 on: 05/13/2013 03:13 PM »
Yet this site has generated over 20 articles for Dream Chaser, and the L2 special is 763 posts long, which has helped generate articles like the one you just read.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #13 on: 05/13/2013 03:37 PM »

Maybe I'm just looking for some action in the DC thread, since it doesn't seem that the SNC engineering teams are not generating much news.

They are, but not via press releases etc. I'll give you an example with this very article. I've been looking to write this one for weeks, every since we knew DC would be heading out in May.

I contacted SNC (who are very nice people) and the PAO was away. When the PAO got back it was noted the requests would be sent up to management, but that everyone was very, very busy. I said I understood and that I'd be able to hold back until they shipped, at which point I obviously had to report the milestone of shipping.

We got word of the shipping on Saturday morning and that SNC folks (who have been really busy with the pre-ship) were taking a break, so I went with the article and added a few "SNC did not immediately respond" (to show we asked).

So for a flow of info, say in the public DC threads, one has to realize this isn't NASA or Shuttle where there was info flowing every day. We obviously have good sources throughout the space industry here, and as such I'm able to get some articles out, whilst making judgement calls on how much info we use in articles (which is why I didn't go into the ACUs all that much).

Technically, I could have written several articles over the past few months, but I don't write short articles, so you have about three short articles in one with the latest.


Does anyone get much excitement from these NASA review milestones, other than maybe the accountants ?

The review milestone was their latest release and it was simply worth noting at the bottom of the article. And yes, I'm sure there are people who get excitment about a crewed baby shuttle making progress.

Offline Todd Martin

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #14 on: 05/13/2013 05:18 PM »
I'm excited!  Dreamchaser is a beautiful vehicle.  Testing is a brilliant example of applied engineering coupled with a very brave test pilot:

"The drop will be via a helicopter, and carried out early in the morning, in near darkness, before the Californian weather becomes too warm to fly the helicopter at the altitudes required for the testing."

I wish that pilot steady hands, owl-eyes, and a support staff that doesn't screw up.  IMHO, he's a hero.



Offline Jim

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #15 on: 05/13/2013 05:35 PM »
where does it say that the drop tests are piloted?

Offline Star One

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #16 on: 05/13/2013 05:43 PM »
Thanks for the article Chris. Be good to see this fly in a manor of speaking.

Offline Todd Martin

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #17 on: 05/13/2013 05:48 PM »
where does it say that the drop tests are piloted?

Well, here's 2:

"Jay Bolden
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111
03.12.13 RELEASE : J13-007  NASA Astronaut Lee Archambault Leaving Agency   HOUSTON – NASA astronaut Lee Archambault is leaving the agency, ending a 15-year career that included more than 27 days in space, including a flight as commander of space shuttle Discovery.

Archambault will join Sierra Nevada Corp. as a systems engineer and test pilot. He will work on the company’s Dream Chaser Space System, being developed in conjunction with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Archambault was the pilot of space shuttle Atlantis on STS-117 in 2007, a mission vital to the construction of the International Space Station. Two years later he commanded the space shuttle Discovery on STS-119.

“Lee’s leadership and experience have been assets to our office,” said Bob Behnken, chief of the Astronaut Office. “In his role as chief of our Exploration Branch, he’s pushed for excellence in the design of our next crew vehicles as we progress during this critical development phase. His combination of technical knowledge, operational experience and critical thinking will be very hard to replace.”

Archambault earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois-Urbana. He then served in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot. He flew combat missions in the Middle East during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Archambault joined NASA as an Air Force astronaut in 1998. He filled many technical roles during his NASA career including working as a support astronaut at Kennedy Space Center, a capsule communicator (CAPCOM) for STS-121 and finally serving within the Astronaut Office as the chief of the Exploration Branch.

Archambault retired from the U.S. Air Force as a colonel in 2012 after more than 27 years of service. He has logged more than 5,000 flight hours in more than 30 types of aircraft.

View Profile Email Online  Re: SNC Dream Chaser UPDATE Thread
« Reply #109 on: 02/06/2013 05:16 PM » Reply with quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This morning I had the privilege of attending a presentation by Todd Mosher at SNC. The ETA is undergoing a lot of work in prep for shipment to Edwards, so we couldn't get a tour. They asked us to leave camera's/phone's in our cars so no pix, sorry.

Here is my run down of the presentation:
A lot of the presentation was, as expected, history of SNC, history of DC/HL-20 (including a mention of BOR-4), what is DC, and what is CCDev/CCiCap. There were many questions and I got a chance to corner Todd after the event to ask some more. I didn't take a notebook, so this is from my (poor) memory.

Someone asked how many they plan to build. His reply went from wildly optomistic to nominal. 2-4 for NASA/ISS CCiCap but if the market gets bigger with Bigelow, etc. and other countries wanting to send up their own astronauts for cheap, they could see selling many seats and building many DCs.

When asked, he wouldn't talk much about the green RCS. I was a little surprised there. He kinda waffled a bit, then started talking about the hybrid mains. Is that some kind of IP? He did talk a lot about the low-G re-entry and immediate access to science payloads returning from micro-G due to green prop.

LM is helping with structures and is manufacturing the composite core of the flight articles in Michoud as well as man-rating requirements and verification. Some systemsy stuff WRT man-rating and verification, but they are not being contracted as a Systems overseer/helper/savior or anything like that. Things are going well.

Heli-lift will not complete drop testing and they are looking into alternative higher altitude carry vehicles. Forgot to ask about self ferry. Said WK2 is a perfect fit, but that VG is focused on tourism and has plenty to do on their own. Didn't sound frustrated in any way but obviously seemed to indicate they would've very much liked to have gone that route.

Since some of the drop tests will be auto and an advertised capability is to auto land, I asked if they could do a full mission profile autonymously. He said it is possible for DC to do autodocking but that isn't developed. DC will be piloted for now but they hope to add that in the future. First orbital flight will be uncrewed but is a free-flyer with no ISS interaction.

 
 
 

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #18 on: 05/13/2013 05:49 PM »
where does it say that the drop tests are piloted?

One presumes the chopper will be, and his pooch can get as screwed as anyones.
DM

Offline psloss

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #19 on: 05/13/2013 06:02 PM »
where does it say that the drop tests are piloted?

Well, here's 2:
The Engineering Test Article is different is many respects from the Flight Test Article; the test series for the two will be different.  So far, all we've heard is that the ETA will fly the drop tests automated.

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