Author Topic: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly  (Read 40341 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Follow on from the other thread that was getting out of control on landing gear....opened with the new article I've written:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/10/dream-chaser-eta-positives-despite-anomaly/

Longish article (I'm going to create another one from the media event). Aimed to cover the salient points, pretty much covering nearly all of Mr. Sirangelo statements (less so the follow on questions, because he covered almost everything in the first half).

Don't shout at me for being positive. Yes, I love this vehicle, but I also work a lot with people involved, and the overly positive result is factually correct.

Offline Rocket Science

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Nice one Chris, including the comical left gear deploy!  :D It reminded me of Merury-Redstone on pad chute deploy...  :P We must keep things in perspective sometimes :)

160 kts at touchdown confirmed... We don't need no stinking wings... ;)
« Last Edit: 10/29/2013 10:30 PM by Rocket Science »
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Offline Ronpur50

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Fantastic article.  Answered almost all of my questions......except one.

Were the fuzzy dice still hanging? 

If they were, it couldn't have been that bad of a tumble.

Offline rcoppola

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Again, this is a great day for SNC and commercial crew.
And I'll just say it: I would love to see DC ride up on a Falcon 9.
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Offline NovaSilisko

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I'm quite impressed that despite hurtling off the runway and tumbling, it was still in one piece (and even operating!). Would it be safe to say that, if this test flight were manned, the pilot would've been okay? Maybe some bumps and bruises, and a bit shaken, but otherwise in good shape.

Online Chris Bergin

Thanks! :)


Were the fuzzy dice still hanging? 


Yep, there was a mention of that. Apparently they were sticky tapped to the cockpit pretty well.

Offline rickl

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I haven't read the article yet, but will do so shortly.


I was about to comment in the last thread before I found this new one.  I was very happy to see the video.  Dream Chaser flew beautifully!  I'm not an aeronautical engineer or a rocket scientist, but from my layman's perspective, it would have been more worrisome if it had exhibited instability in flight, even if the gear deployed properly and it made a successful landing.


According to Wikipedia, the Boeing X-37 ran off the end of the runway after its first drop test in 2006.


Here is the first X-15 unpowered drop test in 1959, with Scott Crossfield at the controls.  Note the pitch oscillation just before landing.  The Spacecraft Films DVD shows it in more detail.





So all things considered, I'd say the Dream Chaser test was mostly successful.



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Offline Rocket Science

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« Last Edit: 10/29/2013 11:04 PM by Rocket Science »
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Offline Lee Jay

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Wow, Chris, that was a terrific article!

Online edkyle99

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I've just seen the video released today.  Wonderful to see that everything was hugely successful and that there were no problems except for a tiny anomaly that was so itsy bitsy that it wasn't even worth showing on the video.  Good of them not to insult us with any images of trouble. 

I'm off to watch "M2F2 Crash" on YouTube now, and to ponder the meaning of the following fact.  Russian showed the entire Proton crash this summer, live.  Remember when the USSR hid its failures while NASA showed its problems in full detail?  (For those wondering who is leading in space today -  that (showing it all) was leadership.)

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/29/2013 11:25 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #10 on: 10/29/2013 11:13 PM »
I'm not an aeronautical engineer or a rocket scientist, but from my layman's perspective, it would have been more worrisome if it had exhibited instability in flight, even if the gear deployed properly and it made a successful landing.
Agree completely.
Here is the first X-15 unpowered drop test in 1959, with Scott Crossfield at the controls.  Note the pitch oscillation just before landing.
This is exactly what testing is all about.  You do it to find these problems.  It looks like SNC got the flight control laws right for this part of the flight profile.

I'm also glad I had a chance to chat with Scott Crossfield shortly before his death.  He was a very interesting person to talk to.  Test pilots are a special breed.  It takes guts to do the first flight of any aircraft or spacecraft.
So all things considered, I'd say the Dream Chaser test was mostly successful.
I would agree with this especially after reading the article.
« Last Edit: 10/29/2013 11:16 PM by Eric Hedman »

Offline rickl

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #11 on: 10/29/2013 11:14 PM »
Good article, Chris!


And what Rocket Science said about MR-1.


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Offline joek

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #12 on: 10/29/2013 11:19 PM »
Thanks Chris, great article and excellent presentation of the relevant facts.  I am much more optimistic today than yesterday.

This test also appears to show that the autonomous flight control system behaved properly in an off-nominal situation, the integrity of critical systems and structures were retained, and from all indications crew would have survived without serious injury.  While I'm sure SNC did not have that in mind for this test, and undoubtedly would have preferred otherwise, the results speak for themselves.  SNC deserves some serious mojo credits.

One bit I was previously confused about that they clarified is that this is the last SNC CCDev2 milestone, not the ETA test flight milestone in the CCiCap SAA (which presumably include manned flights).
« Last Edit: 10/29/2013 11:28 PM by joek »

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #13 on: 10/29/2013 11:29 PM »
I've just seen the video released today.  Wonderful to see that everything was hugely successful and that there were no problems except for a tiny anomaly that was so itsy bitsy that it wasn't even worth showing on the video.  Good of them not to insult us with any images of trouble. 

I'm off to watch "M2F2 Crash" on YouTube now, and to ponder the meaning of the following fact.  Russian showed the entire Proton crash this summer, live.  Remember when the USSR hid its failures while NASA showed its problems in full detail?  (For those wondering who is leading in space today -  that (showing it all) was leadership.)

 - Ed Kyle

We didn't get video of the SpaceX first stage falling apart when it hit the water either.
This isn't NASA. They get to decide what video they want to release.

I'm more interested in how long DC was able to stay upright on just a single wheel and the skid strip.

Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #14 on: 10/29/2013 11:31 PM »

We didn't get video of the SpaceX first stage falling apart when it hit the water either.
This isn't NASA. They get to decide what video they want to release.

This aspect makes me less supportive of the "commercial crew" program in general.  Personally, I think they'd generate more good will by just being open, and also avoid overly pessimistic rumors and speculation when in fact the actual situation might be much more positive than censoring things would imply. 

We don't get to see the cool stuff that goes on at places like Groom Lake, and our inept government has left our space program an empty shell of its former self, so I think some of us are just frustrated and starved for some actual progress that involves seeing some hardware in flight!
« Last Edit: 10/29/2013 11:34 PM by vt_hokie »

Offline NovaSilisko

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #15 on: 10/29/2013 11:38 PM »
I was wondering how long it'd take before that argument found its way to this thread...

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #16 on: 10/29/2013 11:43 PM »

We didn't get video of the SpaceX first stage falling apart when it hit the water either.
This isn't NASA. They get to decide what video they want to release.

This aspect makes me less supportive of the "commercial crew" program in general.  Personally, I think they'd generate more good will by just being open, and also avoid overly pessimistic rumors and speculation when in fact the actual situation might be much more positive than censoring things would imply. 

We don't get to see the cool stuff that goes on at places like Groom Lake, and our inept government has left our space program an empty shell of its former self, so I think some of us are just frustrated and starved for some actual progress that involves seeing some hardware in flight!
When it comes to release of information we have to change our mindset. This is a competition where the goal naturally is to win. Each player is jockeying for position and public perception (remember that ad about some other company just making noise). The last thing you are going to do is to provide ammunition for your competitor and to what end, so that they can run an ad of their vehicle and your vehicle having a bad day. It just good business sense... We just have to get used to the world of commercial spaceflight... We’ll survive...  Who knows, it might show up in a book someday...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline rickl

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #17 on: 10/29/2013 11:47 PM »
Of course, all of us genuine enthusiasts want to see the full video, or better yet, live coverage; but unfortunately, the companies have to worry about hostile members of Congress and a generally ignorant and sensation-seeking news media.


SNC will eventually release the full video, after they have a couple of completely successful flights under their belt.
« Last Edit: 10/29/2013 11:49 PM by rickl »
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Offline robertross

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #18 on: 10/29/2013 11:53 PM »
Super article Chris. Very objective, as you are known for.

I was more surprised (overjoyed) that despite the landing issue, this note:

“It provided us with data on how strong the vehicle is. We were able to get into the vehicle quite soon after (the crash) and the pressure vessel/crew compartment was completely untouched by the incident."

So, even though it had one heck of a thump, it would likely have been 100% survivable with crew on board (realizing it is just a ETA though). That's unintentional failure testing at its finest: passing.

Also glad the runway was undamaged. That's an important overlooked point. I bet it would be on their dime if it did.
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #19 on: 10/29/2013 11:53 PM »
Of course, all of us genuine enthusiasts want to see the full video, or better yet, live coverage; but unfortunately, the companies have to worry about hostile members of Congress and a generally ignorant and sensation-seeking news media.

Bingo.

Offline clongton

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #20 on: 10/30/2013 12:16 AM »
Super article Chris - thanks.
Especially enjoyed the explanations Mark Sirangelo gave of the events of the flight and SNC's perception of the importance of the gear failure in the overall view. Nice to know that all the important stuff survived unscathed and as for the rest, that while damaged, it was not significant enough to preclude repair and reflight.

Once again - great article.
« Last Edit: 10/30/2013 01:36 PM by clongton »
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Offline joek

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #21 on: 10/30/2013 12:34 AM »
Of course, all of us genuine enthusiasts want to see the full video, or better yet, live coverage; but unfortunately, the companies have to worry about hostile members of Congress and a generally ignorant and sensation-seeking news media.
Bingo.

A review of the telecon suggests that the media (at least those interested enough to attend, which included both mainstream and niche) are reasonably well informed and not seeking sensational headlines.  SNC did not appear to attempt to hide anything, and appeared to answer media questions forthrightly.  Lack of live coverage or prompt release of video seems to be the least of the problems, or at least the concern of a small minority of enthusiasts.

How about focusing on what SNC has stated and the media has reported?  If you have concerns or disagree with the accuracy of those statements or reports, then by all means state them.  If your complaint is lack of transparency, then learn to live with it.  No program, government, private, or otherwise has ever been completely transparent.  Availability or lack of video of any particular event is no indicator of transparency.

In short, IMHO if SNC released complete video of the landing and aftermath, it would matter naught other than to a few.

Offline Peter NASA

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #22 on: 10/30/2013 03:02 AM »
Impressive article again Chris!

Online edkyle99

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #23 on: 10/30/2013 03:21 AM »
SNC will eventually release the full video, after they have a couple of completely successful flights under their belt.
SpaceX is still sitting on video of its 2006 and 2008 failures. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

SNC will eventually release the full video, after they have a couple of completely successful flights under their belt.
SpaceX is still sitting on video of its 2006 and 2008 failures. 

 - Ed Kyle

Not sure about Falcon 1 Flight 1, but here's Flight 3 in its "full glory":



And here's Flight 2 with the stage re-contact:



P.S. Sorry if it is only slightly related to the main topic.....I suggest others to reply this post at here.  :-[
« Last Edit: 10/30/2013 03:28 AM by Galactic Penguin SST »
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Offline iamlucky13

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #25 on: 10/30/2013 05:28 AM »
I've been too busy to follow progress much lately. I didn't even realize first glide test was already upon us.

Unfortunately, I found out about that at the same time the Associated Press informed me that Dreamchaser is not just "like a miniature shuttle," as it is commonly and more reasonably described, but is, in fact, the new version of the space shuttle.

http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2022149511_spaceplanexml.html

Quote
The new version of NASA’s space shuttle, being designed by Sierra Nevada Corp., is vying to carry astronauts to and from the international space station in four or five more years.

Thank goodness for NSF's far better coverage to read.

But that aside, the video looked great. I'm looking forward to speedy repairs and progressively more challenging glide tests.

Speaking of which, is there a public description anywhere of the Dream Chaser test program? What else is left to be done under the current contract?

Offline Quindar

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #26 on: 10/30/2013 06:00 AM »
Superb article Chris.  A great flight and a "free" crash test proving the viability of the design to handle an off normal landing incident, not something that they were trying to test but it is good data to have none the less. 
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth...

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #27 on: 10/30/2013 07:29 AM »
An excellent article. The real focus of the flight was what DC could do in the air and it it did brilliantly.

In fact this flight is even more amazing.

It is the first full size composite lifting body to make a completely autonomous runway landing (in the open world) in the US ever  :)

I'll note while I'm sure a lot of people would love to see a 2nd test flight it does sound quite likely that this flight has fulfilled all the milestones that NASA set in the contract. The budget is tight and I'd expect SNC will have to be very pragmatic about this.  :( 

The mission of a test vehicle is to gather data. If all necessary data is gathered then its job is done and it's time to move onto the next phase.

My only worry is that impact damage has been shown to lower the strength of composite pressure vessels with no visible damage. I hope SNC's NDE sensors are good enough to detect such damage.  :)

It's difficult to judge exactly how badly injured the craft was but it does seem that SNC have been very lucky
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #28 on: 10/30/2013 07:45 AM »
I was wondering how long it'd take before that argument found its way to this thread...

One hour and 14 minutes.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #29 on: 10/30/2013 07:52 AM »
SNC will eventually release the full video, after they have a couple of completely successful flights under their belt.
SpaceX is still sitting on video of its 2006 and 2008 failures. 

 - Ed Kyle

Exactly what is the problem Ed? You don't let a chance go by to display your dismay with commercial companies not showing their failures. This is not NASA. The things these companies do are not public domain. They have every legal right to keep information about these failures from the general public, regardless of them being financed with tax-payers dollars. This is the world of proprietary information. This is how it works. This is how commercial PR works. You celebrate the things that go right, and you downplay the things that went wrong.
That's not new. It has been standard MO since the very start of the aerospace industry.
« Last Edit: 10/30/2013 10:46 AM by woods170 »

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #30 on: 10/30/2013 09:58 AM »
Did it take a tumble?  They seem to be saying now that it did not.  Skidded sideways off the runway in a cloud of dust and came to a stop upright?   

Offline psloss

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #31 on: 10/30/2013 10:08 AM »
How about focusing on what SNC has stated and the media has reported?  If you have concerns or disagree with the accuracy of those statements or reports, then by all means state them.  If your complaint is lack of transparency, then learn to live with it.  No program, government, private, or otherwise has ever been completely transparent.  Availability or lack of video of any particular event is no indicator of transparency.

In short, IMHO if SNC released complete video of the landing and aftermath, it would matter naught other than to a few.
This is not black-and-white.  (One size doesn't fit all, either.)

With respect to releasing information, it's more as woods170 wrote -- standard public relations (beyond the aerospace industry); however, releasing video or not and editorial choices made in release aren't the only decisions involved.  For example, we wanted to cover the drop test in-person and I'd bet we weren't the only ones. 

It's not difficult to understand why they wanted to keep the test private; however, I imagine there will eventually be an approach and land that media will be allowed to cover in-person -- and the stakes probably won't be much different.

Online Chris Bergin

Thanks again for the nice words! Means a lot, because you're the readers. :)

Did it take a tumble?  They seem to be saying now that it did not.  Skidded sideways off the runway in a cloud of dust and came to a stop upright?   

She took a tumble. They were really careful to avoid words like crash, tumble, flip -  but she did.  Trust me, I know. But again, she's a strong little girl to do that and "survive". Sure, she looks a mess on the outside, but inside is what counts.

Offline brihath

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #33 on: 10/30/2013 12:00 PM »
SNC will eventually release the full video, after they have a couple of completely successful flights under their belt.
SpaceX is still sitting on video of its 2006 and 2008 failures. 

 - Ed Kyle

Exactly what is the problem Ed? You don't let a chance go by to display your dismay with commercial companies not showing their failures. This is not NASA. The things these companies do are not public domain. They have every legal right to keep information about these failures from the general public, regardless of them being financed with tax-payers dollars. This is the world of proprietary information. This is how it works. This is how commercial PR works. You celebrate the things that go right, and you downplay the things that went wrong.
That's not new. It has been standard MO since the very start of the aerospace industry.

I have worked in several industries over my career.  One common thread I noted is that all corporations are loath to publicize safety issues, including accidents and incidents.  That is internal information and is only shared when the government requires it or if it becomes a major news item.  Even then, the information flow is tightly controlled.  That is every company's responsibility and is necessary to avoid the costs of litigation.  SNC is no different than other companies in that regard.

Offline MarkM

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #34 on: 10/30/2013 12:09 PM »
Hi Chris,

Thanks for the great article, as always!  I have one question - was the airspeed at landing for this test flight similar to what would be expected on an actual reteurn from orbit? 

Mark

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #35 on: 10/30/2013 12:13 PM »
Thanks again for the nice words! Means a lot, because you're the readers. :)

Did it take a tumble?  They seem to be saying now that it did not.  Skidded sideways off the runway in a cloud of dust and came to a stop upright?   

She took a tumble. They were really careful to avoid words like crash, tumble, flip -  but she did.  Trust me, I know. But again, she's a strong little girl to do that and "survive". Sure, she looks a mess on the outside, but inside is what counts.
But that would have happened as she scrubbed off speed and diverged from the runway unto the soft sand, which although allowed DC to dig on to her left and presumable over, but cushion the impact.

Does that sound fair Chris?
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #36 on: 10/30/2013 12:38 PM »
Hi Chris,

Thanks for the great article, as always!  I have one question - was the airspeed at landing for this test flight similar to what would be expected on an actual reteurn from orbit? 

Mark

They told me that the planned return from orbit landing speed was 191 knots.

Offline newpylong

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #37 on: 10/30/2013 01:04 PM »
Seems that the vehicle could be outfitted for piloted use early if the data achieved does not require an additional un-piloted flight?

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #38 on: 10/30/2013 01:22 PM »
Sure, she looks a mess on the outside, but inside is what counts.
Sounds like my dating profile.

Online Chris Bergin

Thanks again for the nice words! Means a lot, because you're the readers. :)

Did it take a tumble?  They seem to be saying now that it did not.  Skidded sideways off the runway in a cloud of dust and came to a stop upright?   

She took a tumble. They were really careful to avoid words like crash, tumble, flip -  but she did.  Trust me, I know. But again, she's a strong little girl to do that and "survive". Sure, she looks a mess on the outside, but inside is what counts.
But that would have happened as she scrubbed off speed and diverged from the runway unto the soft sand, which although allowed DC to dig on to her left and presumable over, but cushion the impact.

Does that sound fair Chris?


I think that's fair. I also think it's fair to say it "looked" a lot worse than it was, with all the sand/dust/fake TPS. I'm betting that's a good reason as to why they haven't released that part of the video. Could easily be dramatized (not by the space flight media).....and it would do them no good to have screenshots of that all over websites and news papers.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #40 on: 10/30/2013 01:51 PM »
It would be much easier to concentrate on the positive if the were not so clearly hiding the negative. The vehicle crashed. Avoiding the use of words because they are accurate is very worrisome to me. I have high hopes for SN and for DC. I don't think the crash is a big setback, but hiding the facts of the crash is just fertilizing BS speculation.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #41 on: 10/30/2013 02:00 PM »
Exactly what is the problem Ed? You don't let a chance go by to display your dismay with commercial companies not showing their failures. This is not NASA. The things these companies do are not public domain. They have every legal right to keep information about these failures from the general public, regardless of them being financed with tax-payers dollars. This is the world of proprietary information. This is how it works. This is how commercial PR works. You celebrate the things that go right, and you downplay the things that went wrong.
That's not new. It has been standard MO since the very start of the aerospace industry.
As far as I'm concerned, these are still essentially public projects.  They would not exist without our (taxpayer) money.  They are competing to carry our astronauts to our space station.  We should know the facts, at least to the extent that NASA previously provided the facts. 

By the standards you describe, if SLS-51L had been a "commercial" launch someone would have pushed a big red button to cut off the NASA-TV feed (which would have been a delayed feed) when the failure occurred.  No news media would have been invited to witness the launch either.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #42 on: 10/30/2013 02:02 PM »
Thanks again for the nice words! Means a lot, because you're the readers. :)

Did it take a tumble?  They seem to be saying now that it did not.  Skidded sideways off the runway in a cloud of dust and came to a stop upright?   

She took a tumble. They were really careful to avoid words like crash, tumble, flip -  but she did.  Trust me, I know. But again, she's a strong little girl to do that and "survive". Sure, she looks a mess on the outside, but inside is what counts.
But that would have happened as she scrubbed off speed and diverged from the runway unto the soft sand, which although allowed DC to dig on to her left and presumable over, but cushion the impact.

Does that sound fair Chris?


I think that's fair. I also think it's fair to say it "looked" a lot worse than it was, with all the sand/dust/fake TPS. I'm betting that's a good reason as to why they haven't released that part of the video. Could easily be dramatized (not by the space flight media).....and it would do them no good to have screenshots of that all over websites and news papers.

It would be OK, if they only had to explain the incident to NASA and possibly congressional oversight.
Their competitors would have a field day.

I can imagine Elon Musk telling prospective customers that there's a possibility you'll end up a bionic man after a flight on DC, while not telling them about the minor glitches on each and every SpaceX mission.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #43 on: 10/30/2013 02:05 PM »
Actually, I think that congress would and probably will have a field day on this too. So many there that want commercial crew dead and that would and will use this as an argument. The gullible public does not get it anyway. They see a video of a vehicle crashing and immediately assume that it is not safe and should therefore be cancelled as "it is all wasteful government spending" anyway and "only NASA can develop safe spacecraft".

Online Chris Bergin


I can imagine Elon Musk telling prospective customers that there's a possibility you'll end up a bionic man after a flight on DC, while not telling them about the minor glitches on each and every SpaceX mission.


That wouldn't happen for a number of reasons.

1) Mark clearly noted the low G incident and lack of damage to the crew cabin would have resulted in the crew walking away.

2) Elon wouldn't take a poke at SNC. Everyone's a potential customer, rather than a competitor, in commercial space.

3) One of my end of year feature articles is going to be based an overview (no restrictions on it) of all the Dragon flights so far, where all the little faults are overviewed. They did the same with the ASAP too. So how they act with the media is not the same as how open they are with the likes of ASAP, NASA, etc.

Bloody heck, everything revolves back to SpaceX! ;D

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #45 on: 10/30/2013 02:31 PM »
Exactly what is the problem Ed? You don't let a chance go by to display your dismay with commercial companies not showing their failures. This is not NASA. The things these companies do are not public domain. They have every legal right to keep information about these failures from the general public, regardless of them being financed with tax-payers dollars. This is the world of proprietary information. This is how it works. This is how commercial PR works. You celebrate the things that go right, and you downplay the things that went wrong.
That's not new. It has been standard MO since the very start of the aerospace industry.
As far as I'm concerned, these are still essentially public projects.  They would not exist without our (taxpayer) money.  They are competing to carry our astronauts to our space station.  We should know the facts, at least to the extent that NASA previously provided the facts. 

By the standards you describe, if SLS-51L had been a "commercial" launch someone would have pushed a big red button to cut off the NASA-TV feed (which would have been a delayed feed) when the failure occurred.  No news media would have been invited to witness the launch either.

 - Ed Kyle

Exactly the reason I am irritated at the lack of information coming from SpaceX on the manned Dragon. Are they really worried about someone stealing their designs? Capsules have been around for 60 years. The most information I have seen about it has been through the NASA Commercial Crew program.

It wouldn't exist without my wallet, and neither would SpaceX. We are getting more information out of the least likely to do so - Boeing! SNC has been the best about releasing information out of the three.
« Last Edit: 10/30/2013 02:35 PM by newpylong »

Offline JAFO

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #46 on: 10/30/2013 02:48 PM »
Exactly what is the problem Ed? You don't let a chance go by to display your dismay with commercial companies not showing their failures. This is not NASA. The things these companies do are not public domain. They have every legal right to keep information about these failures from the general public, regardless of them being financed with tax-payers dollars. This is the world of proprietary information. This is how it works. This is how commercial PR works. You celebrate the things that go right, and you downplay the things that went wrong.
That's not new. It has been standard MO since the very start of the aerospace industry.
As far as I'm concerned, these are still essentially public projects.  They would not exist without our (taxpayer) money.  They are competing to carry our astronauts to our space station.  We should know the facts, at least to the extent that NASA previously provided the facts. 

By the standards you describe, if SLS-51L had been a "commercial" launch someone would have pushed a big red button to cut off the NASA-TV feed (which would have been a delayed feed) when the failure occurred.  No news media would have been invited to witness the launch either.

 - Ed Kyle

I'd be happy if the video of 51L would cut off before the failure. People I respected (and yes, envied) were killed in that mishap, I hate seeing their deaths publicly replayed over and over and.....


Thanks again for the nice words! Means a lot, because you're the readers. :)

Did it take a tumble?  They seem to be saying now that it did not.  Skidded sideways off the runway in a cloud of dust and came to a stop upright?   

She took a tumble. They were really careful to avoid words like crash, tumble, flip -  but she did.  Trust me, I know. But again, she's a strong little girl to do that and "survive". Sure, she looks a mess on the outside, but inside is what counts.

As long as the main structure is intact and not tweaked, the outside can be fixed. The question is how much are they willing to spend on it.

Good writeup, Chris. :cheers:
« Last Edit: 10/30/2013 02:51 PM by JAFO »
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #47 on: 10/30/2013 02:57 PM »
Can we please stop this "Epic Fail" because we didn't see the crash video meme!

I feel like I'm in an alternate universe.

This was a hugely successful milestone that is helping to prove out an incredibly impressive system that along with SpaceX and Boeing, will forever alter access to space.

The only people I care that know or get to see exactly what happened are the engineers in charge of fixing it and NASA who's in charge of helping to fund and provide historical expertise.

SnarK Alert:
If you feel entitled to know everything simply because something received tax payer funds, why don't you take a walk over to Boeing Phantom Works and ask to see what's up with their latest stealth drones. I'm sure they'd tell you all about it. ("Oh come on, that's different, that's military not civilian." Hmm, you don't say. OK, then go ask to see the 5 million lines of worthless code we spent billions on for the new HealthCare website. Yeh, good luck with that.
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #48 on: 10/30/2013 03:00 PM »
Exactly what is the problem Ed? You don't let a chance go by to display your dismay with commercial companies not showing their failures. This is not NASA. The things these companies do are not public domain. They have every legal right to keep information about these failures from the general public, regardless of them being financed with tax-payers dollars. This is the world of proprietary information. This is how it works. This is how commercial PR works. You celebrate the things that go right, and you downplay the things that went wrong.
That's not new. It has been standard MO since the very start of the aerospace industry.
As far as I'm concerned, these are still essentially public projects.  They would not exist without our (taxpayer) money.  They are competing to carry our astronauts to our space station.  We should know the facts, at least to the extent that NASA previously provided the facts. 

By the standards you describe, if SLS-51L had been a "commercial" launch someone would have pushed a big red button to cut off the NASA-TV feed (which would have been a delayed feed) when the failure occurred.  No news media would have been invited to witness the launch either.

 - Ed Kyle

Them supposedly being public projects is your interpretation. But the rules in place for both CRS, CCDEV and CCICAP say differently.

And your analogy to STS-51L does not apply. That was supposedly an operational flight. The early flights of Falcon 1 (SpaceX sitting on that footage) and the recent Dreamchaser free flight were test flights. Different rules with regards to PR generally apply to testflights, particularly when the test-subject is born out of a non-public project.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #49 on: 10/30/2013 03:10 PM »
Hi Chris,

Thanks for the great article, as always!  I have one question - was the airspeed at landing for this test flight similar to what would be expected on an actual reteurn from orbit? 

Mark

They told me that the planned return from orbit landing speed was 191 knots.
Lee Jay,

Did they tell you at what landing weight for that speed?

"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #50 on: 10/30/2013 05:55 PM »
Great article, Chris.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #51 on: 10/30/2013 06:34 PM »
I also want to thank you for a great article, Chris. It was your usual factual and thorough reporting, but with an eye on the larger picture, which I appreciated. It was also an enjoyable read, with a style and tone I found most engaging.

It seems to me that NASA's upcoming review of this 1st ALT flight will be key, and whether they concur that the milestone was met or not.  If not, hopefully the repairs & landing gear correction can be made in a short period of time, and she can repeat the flight with a smooth landing rollout as a conclusion.

Edit: Hey, I reached my 1000th post! Where's my NSF coffee mug? :)
« Last Edit: 10/30/2013 07:16 PM by Alpha Control »
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #52 on: 10/30/2013 07:07 PM »
And your analogy to STS-51L does not apply. That was supposedly an operational flight. The early flights of Falcon 1 (SpaceX sitting on that footage) and the recent Dreamchaser free flight were test flights. Different rules with regards to PR generally apply to testflights, particularly when the test-subject is born out of a non-public project.
Was CRS-2 an operational flight?  Someone hit the big red button during that mission.

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #53 on: 10/30/2013 07:22 PM »
I don't know if this has been posted here:
From Space News site:
http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/37903snc-mission-accomplished-in-dream-chaser-test-despite-crash-landing

"NASA's Partner Integration Team will be evaluating the data from the test to determine if the success criteria ... have been met," NASA spokesman Trent Perrotto wrote in an Oct. 29 email. "It is not required that the test be anomaly free in order for the success criteria to be met."

Phil McAlister, director of Commercial Spaceflight Development at NASA headquarters here, said the agency "was very pleased with the flight portion of Saturday's test of the Dream Chaser test article. The vehicle performed very well and Sierra Nevada will have lots of test data to use for its future development effort."

This follows well what Sirangelo said in the SNC de-brief.

Online Chris Bergin

I also want to thank you for a great article, Chris. It was your usual factual and thorough reporting, but with an eye on the larger picture, which I appreciated. It was also an enjoyable read, with a style and tone I found most engaging.

It seems to me that NASA's upcoming review of this 1st ALT flight will be key, and whether they concur that the milestone was met or not.  If not, hopefully the repairs & landing gear correction can be made in a short period of time, and she can repeat the flight with a smooth landing rollout as a conclusion.

Edit: Hey, I reached my 1000th post! Where's my NSF coffee mug? :)

Thanks! But no mugs in stock at this time! ;)

Hey, not everyone's happy with it. Just got a sarcastic e-mail complaining about me calling the ETA a "she". I guess he's new to my articles then! ;D

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #55 on: 10/30/2013 08:02 PM »
In fact, she is a beautiful she! ;)

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #56 on: 10/30/2013 08:14 PM »

And your analogy to STS-51L does not apply. That was supposedly an operational flight. The early flights of Falcon 1 (SpaceX sitting on that footage) and the recent Dreamchaser free flight were test flights. Different rules with regards to PR generally apply to testflights, particularly when the test-subject is born out of a non-public project.
Was CRS-2 an operational flight?  Someone hit the big red button during that mission.

 - Ed Kyle

What red button? When?

Offline clongton

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #57 on: 10/30/2013 08:41 PM »
Ships are almost always called "she, her", etc.
It matters not whether or not the ship floats or flies. It's a "her". -Period-
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #58 on: 10/30/2013 08:49 PM »
Edit: Hey, I reached my 1000th post! Where's my NSF coffee mug? :)
I think you have to report 1000 typos to get one of those. :) or just buy one when the store is up and running?

I have to admit I'm of two minds about the information release thing. One side of me is all "it's my taxpayer money I want to know what my money is getting" and the other side is all "it's commercial, relax" 

Both views have merit so castigating each other probably isn't helpful... but we are going to have to get used to more spin control and less raw data.
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Offline MP99

SLS-51L

Would be nice one day to see a 25th SLS launch.  ;)

cheers, Martin

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #60 on: 10/30/2013 09:01 PM »
A quick way to silence the “cacophony of squawking geese” would be for SNC get DC all refurbished and ready for flight ASAP. Give her a nice shiny rollout and ready for ALT photo op... ;)
« Last Edit: 10/30/2013 09:14 PM by Rocket Science »
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #61 on: 10/30/2013 10:14 PM »

I have worked in several industries over my career.  One common thread I noted is that all corporations are loath to publicize safety issues, including accidents and incidents.

It's not just corporations. It happens widely in government, too. Usually problems in the government have to be pulled tooth and nail by the media. Examples range from the divide between Congress and the Executive Branch about details of the Fast and Furious gun trafficking enforcement program to the stories created about Army Ranger Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan even though the military knew it was most likely a tragic friendly fire incident.

When it comes to discussing failures, NASA is a very rare exception to the norm. They've come to terms with that aspect of being a highly visible agency, and have turned disclosure into part of their process of failure analysis. Aside from aircraft accident investigations, I struggle to think of examples of such openness elsewhere.


3) One of my end of year feature articles is going to be based an overview (no restrictions on it) of all the Dragon flights so far, where all the little faults are overviewed. They did the same with the ASAP too. So how they act with the media is not the same as how open they are with the likes of ASAP, NASA, etc.

Bloody heck, everything revolves back to SpaceX! ;D

I suspected as much - Just because it doesn't discussed in a press conference doesn't mean the people who matter are unaware of what happened, why, and how it will be fixed. Thank you for confirming.

It seems to me that moots a lot of the above discussion.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #62 on: 10/30/2013 10:44 PM »
In my opinion SNC shot themselves in the foot by not releasing the footage.

That Proton explosion was on the nightly news around the world.

All press is good press, people would say "Hey what is that cool space plane?" and find out more.

Anyway the article was great and covers everything about the test.

The flight did look quite good but we need to remember this isn't a plane competition it's a spacecraft competition. Do runways landing introduce an extra failure mode with the landing gear?

Want to see a land landing that works? Here you go.



Personally I'd be a little annoyed if SNC was paid out for that test. It did not demonstrate it could land safely on wheels and skid from drop speed. They should be held accountable for their failure and try again. If they skimped on the landing gear by using salvaged parts that failed they need to own up to it.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #63 on: 10/30/2013 11:03 PM »
I wonder if Boeing and SNC used the same helicopter?   ;)
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #64 on: 10/30/2013 11:27 PM »
In my opinion SNC shot themselves in the foot by not releasing the footage.

I don't know if I subscribe to that, but I hope that, wth a successful follow-on test, they can release it then as a point of fact to show that despite a nasty tumble, she can still fly.

If we could see one tenth of the testing failures in the world, we'd probably be so scared we'd never leave the house.
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #65 on: 10/30/2013 11:34 PM »
In my opinion SNC shot themselves in the foot by not releasing the footage.

That Proton explosion was on the nightly news around the world.

All press is good press, people would say "Hey what is that cool space plane?" and find out more.

Anyway the article was great and covers everything about the test.


How is it the same?  That was a operational mission, this was a test flight two very different things.  For the first manned flight you can bet there will be live coverage and no "red button".

Offline rickl

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #66 on: 10/30/2013 11:58 PM »
I already posted this on the Gravity thread, but it's too good not to put it here as well.

In this Washington Post article, a commenter said:

Quote
Sandra Bullock would have gotten that gear down.
« Last Edit: 10/30/2013 11:59 PM by rickl »
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #67 on: 10/31/2013 12:06 AM »
I already posted this on the Gravity thread, but it's too good not to put it here as well.

In this Washington Post article, a commenter said:

Quote
Sandra Bullock would have gotten that gear down.

Let's not go there please

In less than 2 seconds? Not likely. She'd hit the wrong button a couple times for not having flown it before.

Moving on...
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Offline rickl

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #68 on: 10/31/2013 12:14 AM »
I thought it was rather amusing.
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By the way, the next article will be more of Mark's comments, but with additional info. Aiming to make it about orbital Dream Chasers.

Won't be any mention of tumbles or gear, which is why I opted for two standalone articles from the media event.

Offline a_langwich

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #70 on: 10/31/2013 01:57 AM »
Sure, she looks a mess on the outside, but inside is what counts.

Ah, she does?  Got a pic?  :)

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #71 on: 10/31/2013 02:45 AM »
Some of the arrogance displayed in this thread is unbelievable, quick tip: Just because you paid for a product or service does NOT entitle you to see everything related to that product or service, it all depends on the contract. i.e. just because you paid a few hundred dollars for a plane ticket does not give you the right to see the cockpit during flight operations, let alone viewing Boeing or Airbus' test flights. NASA signed the contract on behalf of the tax payers, and I think we can safely assume it does not include a clause for public disclosure of test flight videos. If this is the case, then SNC does not own you, the public or the tax payer anything, as long as they are executing the contract, they're doing what they're supposed to do.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #72 on: 10/31/2013 04:15 AM »
Some of the arrogance displayed in this thread is unbelievable, quick tip: Just because you paid for a product or service does NOT entitle you to see everything related to that product or service, it all depends on the contract. i.e. just because you paid a few hundred dollars for a plane ticket does not give you the right to see the cockpit during flight operations, let alone viewing Boeing or Airbus' test flights. NASA signed the contract on behalf of the tax payers, and I think we can safely assume it does not include a clause for public disclosure of test flight videos. If this is the case, then SNC does not own you, the public or the tax payer anything, as long as they are executing the contract, they're doing what they're supposed to do.
This isn't about entitlement.  It has nothing to do with airline cockpit visiting privileges or the right to know everything about the manufacturing of missiles or toasters or smart phones. 

I'm merely pointing out that NASA used to do its work unflinchingly in the open, for all the world to see.  That was the NASA that the world admired.  The U.S. left censorship and propaganda, at least when it came to civil space exploration, to other countries.   Now, partly through the use of these commercial contracts, NASA has become the censor.  It is not arrogant to wonder how this happened, and why.

 - Ed Kyle     

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #73 on: 10/31/2013 04:24 AM »
NASA isn't the censor, the companies are because these spacecraft are their intellectual property.  Their IP,  their test programs, their PR rules.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 04:30 AM by docmordrid »
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #74 on: 10/31/2013 04:28 AM »

And your analogy to STS-51L does not apply. That was supposedly an operational flight. The early flights of Falcon 1 (SpaceX sitting on that footage) and the recent Dreamchaser free flight were test flights. Different rules with regards to PR generally apply to testflights, particularly when the test-subject is born out of a non-public project.
Was CRS-2 an operational flight?  Someone hit the big red button during that mission.

 - Ed Kyle

What red button? When?
SpaceX cut the video feed without explanation when Dragon failed to pressurize its RCS just after it separated from the second stage.  On previous flights it maintained video until the solar arrays deployed.  We were left wondering what happened for some time until Elon Musk himself provided an update via. Twitter.  Even then we didn't know the real issue.  I raised this example of a commercial firm cutting off the video when failure occurred while asking why we should expect any different during a crewed flight performed for NASA by the same, or by any other, commercial firm.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 04:29 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline Jason1701

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #75 on: 10/31/2013 04:33 AM »

And your analogy to STS-51L does not apply. That was supposedly an operational flight. The early flights of Falcon 1 (SpaceX sitting on that footage) and the recent Dreamchaser free flight were test flights. Different rules with regards to PR generally apply to testflights, particularly when the test-subject is born out of a non-public project.
Was CRS-2 an operational flight?  Someone hit the big red button during that mission.

 - Ed Kyle

What red button? When?
SpaceX cut the video feed without explanation when Dragon failed to pressurize its RCS just after it separated from the second stage.  On previous flights it maintained video until the solar arrays deployed.  We were left wondering what happened for some time until Elon Musk himself provided an update via. Twitter.  Even then we didn't know the real issue.  I raised this example of a commercial firm cutting off the video when failure occurred while asking why we should expect any different during a crewed flight performed for NASA by the same, or by any other, commercial firm.

 - Ed Kyle

The video feed lasted as long after launch as it had on COTS-2 and CRS-1. We just didn't see the solar arrays deploy because they decided to wait a few orbits to do that.

Online edkyle99

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #76 on: 10/31/2013 04:37 AM »
The video feed lasted as long after launch as it had on COTS-2 and CRS-1. We just didn't see the solar arrays deploy because they decided to wait a few orbits to do that.
Video was purposely cut off.  That's the point.

- Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 04:45 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline woods170

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #77 on: 10/31/2013 06:58 AM »
The video feed lasted as long after launch as it had on COTS-2 and CRS-1. We just didn't see the solar arrays deploy because they decided to wait a few orbits to do that.
Video was purposely cut off.  That's the point.

- Ed Kyle

Where and when did a SpaceX official acknowledge that the video was cut-off on purpose?

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #78 on: 10/31/2013 06:59 AM »
Please make a new thread about this; space censorship et cetera or something like that.
There you can talk about SpaceX feeds and why Orbital is communist for not showing dream chaser till it came to a full stop.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #79 on: 10/31/2013 07:22 AM »
Please make a new thread about this; space censorship et cetera or something like that.
There you can talk about SpaceX feeds and why Orbital is communist for not showing dream chaser till it came to a full stop.


Done. Discussion can continue here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33182.0

Edit: I have requested the mods to migrate the posts involving discussion about information release by commercial crew companies to the new thread.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 07:39 AM by woods170 »

Offline mr. mark

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #80 on: 10/31/2013 03:06 PM »
Nice article. Of course, Dream Chaser most likely won't make the down select no matter how much space fans chear for it. We'll have to see how Sierra Nevada positions itself following the announcement. I have a feeling no matter what it's going to be a long haul and an uphill battle.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 03:06 PM by mr. mark »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #81 on: 10/31/2013 03:30 PM »
Nice article. Of course, Dream Chaser most likely won't make the down select no matter how much space fans chear for it. We'll have to see how Sierra Nevada positions itself following the announcement. I have a feeling no matter what it's going to be a long haul and an uphill battle.
In my opinion SNC shot themselves in the foot by not releasing the footage.
Possibly, but they may already be feeling a bit defensive as following Sen. Wolfe's handiwork they only got 1/2 their preferred award.  :(
Quote
The flight did look quite good but we need to remember this isn't a plane competition it's a spacecraft competition. Do runways landing introduce an extra failure mode with the landing gear?
Do parachutes not opening introduce an extra failure mode relative to wings?
Quote
Personally I'd be a little annoyed if SNC was paid out for that test. It did not demonstrate it could land safely on wheels and skid from drop speed. They should be held accountable for their failure and try again. If they skimped on the landing gear by using salvaged parts that failed they need to own up to it.
The list of milestones for all competitors is redacted but AFAIK landing was not in fact one of them.

IOW if they pass the milestones they get the award. Simple.

Which seems a lot fairer than some programmes I've watched where they are late and don't meet their targets but get "re-baselined" although they still get the money.  :(
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline iamlucky13

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #82 on: 10/31/2013 03:50 PM »
Personally I'd be a little annoyed if SNC was paid out for that test. It did not demonstrate it could land safely on wheels and skid from drop speed. They should be held accountable for their failure and try again. If they skimped on the landing gear by using salvaged parts that failed they need to own up to it.

Personally, I'd be annoyed if whatever payments are or are not made are not based on the contract, which specifies criteria for payment, based on what NASA wanted to see proven on this flight.

If what NASA was concerned about for this test was whether or not the landing gear of the F-5 Tiger works every time, then the portion of the payment linked to that system should be withheld.

But while I haven't seen the contract, I don't think NASA is that stupid.

I'm fairly certain they tied payment to demonstrating the elements required for maturing the Dream Chaser towards space flight status, and I know that they allowed SNC to build the glide test article as only partially flight representative in order to prove out the highest risk elements of the design on a reasonable budget.

So since NASA is probably not as worried about SNC's ability to ultimately develop flight-worthy landing gear as they are about developing a reliable automated control system for an unusual aerodynamic design, they were allowed to use landing gear that were already proven out. Which, of course, is still not a guarantee, as a web search for "A320 gear up landing" will similarly demonstrate.

Where this is most likely to affect NASA assessment of success is if there were test criteria related to the post-touchdown phase of the flight that the ETA was not able to demonstrate because the landing gear failure prevented it. I don't know whether there was or not.

Offline ChefPat

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #83 on: 10/31/2013 06:03 PM »
Nice article. Of course, Dream Chaser most likely won't make the down select no matter how much space fans chear for it. We'll have to see how Sierra Nevada positions itself following the announcement. I have a feeling no matter what it's going to be a long haul and an uphill battle.
I'd sure like to see a Capsule & a Lifting Body make the selection.
Were that the case though, I suspect the CST-100 would be the one cut & I doubt that their political connections would let that happen.

Excellent article Chris, thank you.
Playing Politics with Commercial Crew is Un-American!!!

Online Chris Bergin

Thanks again!

And as noted in a SN link earlier, we're also hearing positive noises from the NASA side, per test objectives.

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #85 on: 10/31/2013 06:30 PM »
Before people can make absolute predictions on what vehicles survive any down select, does anybody here know NASA's criteria for a selection?  How important is it that one of the vehicles has a a wide cross range for landing opening more windows for landing?  How important is it that one of the vehicles has a low g-load during landing for returning experiments from orbit?  How important is it that a second vehicle is available in the same time frame as the first?  I don't doubt that lobbying has some influence on the decision, but I also do believe that questions like the ones I posed do have some weight in NASA's decision making process.

Offline rcoppola

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #86 on: 10/31/2013 06:34 PM »
Nice article. Of course, Dream Chaser most likely won't make the down select no matter how much space fans chear for it. We'll have to see how Sierra Nevada positions itself following the announcement. I have a feeling no matter what it's going to be a long haul and an uphill battle.
I'd sure like to see a Capsule & a Lifting Body make the selection.
Were that the case though, I suspect the CST-100 would be the one cut & I doubt that their political connections would let that happen.

Excellent article Chris, thank you.
This is not a zero sum game.

NASA wants these products asap. Which means Dragon and CST are better positioned for this round. But this isn't where it ends. Even if DC is not selected, they will continue and be able to offer up their services a few years later down the road. There are too many risks to mitigate and not enough funding to get them there soon enough to be selected for the initial set of flights. But they will continue and be cycled in at later date. I'm a huge fan of DC but there is a reason why they were not fully funded. NASA put it's limited money into the products it felt could get to market fastest and with the least risk. Unfortunately, meeting this milestone will not change that equation. But does bode extremely well for DC in the not too distant future. Which is great.
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Offline rcoppola

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #87 on: 10/31/2013 06:36 PM »
Before people can make absolute predictions on what vehicles survive any down select, does anybody here know NASA's criteria for a selection?  How important is it that one of the vehicles has a a wide cross range for landing opening more windows for landing?  How important is it that one of the vehicles has a low g-load during landing for returning experiments from orbit?  How important is it that a second vehicle is available in the same time frame as the first?  I don't doubt that lobbying has some influence on the decision, but I also do believe that questions like the ones I posed do have some weight in NASA's decision making process.
Right now it's time to market with least risk getting there. All other considerations besides perhaps costs are secondary.
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #88 on: 10/31/2013 06:48 PM »
NASA put it's limited money into the products it felt could get to market fastest and with the least risk. Unfortunately, meeting this milestone will not change that equation. But does bode extremely well for DC in the not too distant future. Which is great.
I thought that part of the reason why SNC got less money was because they were using the same launch option as Boeing does. SpaceX also has its own launcher. So both Boeing and SpaceX have to do some launcher related work on top of the space craft.
I do agree on everything else though.

Offline rcoppola

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #89 on: 10/31/2013 07:12 PM »
NASA put it's limited money into the products it felt could get to market fastest and with the least risk. Unfortunately, meeting this milestone will not change that equation. But does bode extremely well for DC in the not too distant future. Which is great.
I thought that part of the reason why SNC got less money was because they were using the same launch option as Boeing does. SpaceX also has its own launcher. So both Boeing and SpaceX have to do some launcher related work on top of the space craft.
I do agree on everything else though.
Remember, both Boeing and SNC would be sub-contracting out to ULA to provide the Atlas V as part of their integrated system that they'll offer to NASA. Boeing has publicly stated they have been and/or will be talking with SpaceX on the options of using the F9 for CST. The primary reason for that discussion is cost related.

Atlas V is proven and working on being human-rated, F9v1.1 is being proven and was designed from the outset to be human-rated.

The schedule risk assessments and resulting funding profiles have primarily pointed to Crew vehicles, not the launchers.

(please pardon the slide into OT)

« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 07:13 PM by rcoppola »
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #90 on: 10/31/2013 07:23 PM »
NASA put it's limited money into the products it felt could get to market fastest and with the least risk. Unfortunately, meeting this milestone will not change that equation. But does bode extremely well for DC in the not too distant future. Which is great.
I thought that part of the reason why SNC got less money was because they were using the same launch option as Boeing does. SpaceX also has its own launcher. So both Boeing and SpaceX have to do some launcher related work on top of the space craft.
I do agree on everything else though.
Remember, both Boeing and SNC would be sub-contracting out to ULA to provide the Atlas V as part of their integrated system
I know, but Boeing is part owner of ULA...

Offline MP99

BTW, I like the thought that the apparent survivability of the crash may be seen as a valuable / attractive result in itself, even though unintended (and won't count towards milestones).

cheers, Martin

Offline rcoppola

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #92 on: 10/31/2013 07:46 PM »
NASA put it's limited money into the products it felt could get to market fastest and with the least risk. Unfortunately, meeting this milestone will not change that equation. But does bode extremely well for DC in the not too distant future. Which is great.
I thought that part of the reason why SNC got less money was because they were using the same launch option as Boeing does. SpaceX also has its own launcher. So both Boeing and SpaceX have to do some launcher related work on top of the space craft.
I do agree on everything else though.
Remember, both Boeing and SNC would be sub-contracting out to ULA to provide the Atlas V as part of their integrated system
I know, but Boeing is part owner of ULA...
Doesn't matter. Different companies, different businesses units with different P&L columns.
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #93 on: 10/31/2013 07:47 PM »
BTW, I like the thought that the apparent survivability of the crash may be seen as a valuable / attractive result in itself, even though unintended (and won't count towards milestones).

cheers, Martin
Yes, completely agree. Although not checked off on the milestone sheet, it is checked off in the psyche. And that has to account for something.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #94 on: 11/01/2013 12:16 AM »
Since the ETA is going to be refitted for a piloted fight it might make sense for SNC to make use of the down time to refurbish the vehicle and do the mods in one step. They can then perform another drop test to validate all the systems prior to a piloted flight.
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Offline mikegro

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #95 on: 11/01/2013 03:31 PM »
I didn't see if anyone asked this yet (sorry if they did), but are the hydraulic systems on this DC ETA capable of retracting the landing gear in-flight if an anomaly like this happens again?  Better to do a belly landing with no gear than land with just one main and take a tumble, IMO.

-Mike
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #96 on: 11/01/2013 05:40 PM »
I didn't see if anyone asked this yet (sorry if they did), but are the hydraulic systems on this DC ETA capable of retracting the landing gear in-flight if an anomaly like this happens again?  Better to do a belly landing with no gear than land with just one main and take a tumble, IMO.

-Mike
I don’t believe that DC had the ability to retract gear enabled. There really would not have been enough time to cycle the gear much with a SkyCrane drop and extend 10-15s before touchdown. The F-5E main gear used on DC does originally come with gravity drop emergency gear extension.
« Last Edit: 11/01/2013 07:02 PM by Rocket Science »
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Offline yg1968

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #97 on: 11/03/2013 10:52 PM »
I believe this flight completes the last SNC CCDev-2 milestone. The last CCDev2 milestones was related to the free flight test:
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/679671main_CCDev2_Public_August2012_508.pdf

CCiCap also had milestones related to the ETA flights.
« Last Edit: 11/04/2013 02:06 AM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #98 on: 11/04/2013 01:57 AM »
One thing that wasn't mentionned is that SNC will either do an another unmanned or a piloted test flight next (likely next year).

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/dream-chaser-mini-shuttle-be-fixed-after-first-free-flight-8C11488071
« Last Edit: 11/04/2013 02:00 AM by yg1968 »

Online Chris Bergin

One thing that wasn't mentionned is that SNC will either do an another unmanned or a piloted test flight next (likely next year).


Oh really?

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/10/dream-chaser-eta-positives-despite-anomaly/
Quote
That original goal was to conduct one or two approach-and-landing free-flight tests with this ETA, before returning the vehicle to her home base in Colorado for outfitting ahead of the 2014 crewed version of the test flights.

SNC will evaluate if they will repair the ETA for another automated flight test, or if to ship her back to Colorado for outfitting.

“We will determine (that) if and when we receive enough data from this flight, because we were so successful we think we did receive all the data we need for testing,” Mr. Sirangelo continued. ”But we will determine if we do need that second flight, or if we want to bring the vehicle back for its next set of test flights early next year.”

Offline yg1968

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #100 on: 11/04/2013 02:08 AM »
One thing that wasn't mentionned is that SNC will either do an another unmanned or a piloted test flight next (likely next year).


Oh really?

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/10/dream-chaser-eta-positives-despite-anomaly/
Quote
That original goal was to conduct one or two approach-and-landing free-flight tests with this ETA, before returning the vehicle to her home base in Colorado for outfitting ahead of the 2014 crewed version of the test flights.

SNC will evaluate if they will repair the ETA for another automated flight test, or if to ship her back to Colorado for outfitting.

“We will determine (that) if and when we receive enough data from this flight, because we were so successful we think we did receive all the data we need for testing,” Mr. Sirangelo continued. ”But we will determine if we do need that second flight, or if we want to bring the vehicle back for its next set of test flights early next year.”

Oups... I read it too quickly.

Offline agenttokyo

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #101 on: 11/04/2013 05:01 PM »
Didn't see this post in prior or this thread.  Apologies if dup...

includes approach but cuts out just before "landing".


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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #102 on: 11/05/2013 09:19 PM »
So much talk about the landing gear, but it is actually the door that doesn't open.

How much of the door is actually custom? After all, even on the test article, it should be designed to withstand re-entry heat. Something an F5 never need to do.
Part of that must be that it is completely closed. Superheated gases cannot enter, so it must be better sealed than a standard gear door.

Could this be the root cause? The door sealing?
The machine works well.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #103 on: 11/05/2013 09:48 PM »
So much talk about the landing gear, but it is actually the door that doesn't open.

How much of the door is actually custom? After all, even on the test article, it should be designed to withstand re-entry heat. Something an F5 never need to do.
Part of that must be that it is completely closed. Superheated gases cannot enter, so it must be better sealed than a standard gear door.

Could this be the root cause? The door sealing?
These are custom fabricated gear doors to fit the contours of Dream Chaser. The TPS on her are simulated not actual. Some seal could cause a problem but should still be over-powered by the gear. It could even be the latches on the inner door hung or didn’t respond when commanded...
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #104 on: 11/14/2013 11:09 PM »
Nice little piece on DC on the show Daily Planet... November 13th show at 6:30 min into video.

http://www.discovery.ca/dp/videos/
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Offline JBF

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Offline Overflow

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #106 on: 11/17/2013 12:47 PM »
Nice little piece on DC on the show Daily Planet... November 13th show at 6:30 min into video.

http://www.discovery.ca/dp/videos/

Thanks for posting this. I'm watching it now.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #107 on: 11/17/2013 02:16 PM »
Nice little piece on DC on the show Daily Planet... November 13th show at 6:30 min into video.

http://www.discovery.ca/dp/videos/

Thanks for posting this. I'm watching it now.
You're welcome, maybe Chris can get us all some of those "Dream Chaser Crew" t-shirts...  :D
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Offline Overflow

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA review promotes positives despite anomaly
« Reply #108 on: 11/19/2013 01:02 PM »
Nice little piece on DC on the show Daily Planet... November 13th show at 6:30 min into video.

http://www.discovery.ca/dp/videos/

Thanks for posting this. I'm watching it now.
You're welcome, maybe Chris can get us all some of those "Dream Chaser Crew" t-shirts...  :D

I would buy one!

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