Author Topic: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests  (Read 54879 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”...
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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.

Offline 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

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.

 
 
 

Online 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

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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.

Offline Jim

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #20 on: 05/13/2013 06:08 PM »
where does it say that the drop tests are piloted?

Well, here's 2:


Hiring a test pilot does not mean these tests are piloted.  And the second says nothing about these drop tests.

Offline Jim

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #21 on: 05/13/2013 06:09 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.


Also, being brave and risking one's life does not make one a hero.  Risking one's life for others does.
« Last Edit: 05/13/2013 06:11 PM by Jim »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #22 on: 05/13/2013 07:29 PM »
SNC have issued a presser to confirm the shipping:

Sierra Nevada Corporation Announces Shipment of Dream Chaser®
Flight Vehicle to NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center
   
Sparks, NV – May 13, 2013 – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s
(SNC) Space Systems has completed assembly and testing
of the Dream Chaser
®
spacecraft in preparation for shipping
the flight vehicle from SNC’s Space Systems headquarters
in Louisville, Colo., to  NASA’s Dryden Flight Research
Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. 
 
Upon arrival at NASA Dryden, the Dream Chaser will
continue a series of tests, including runway tow, ground
resonance, and a captive carry flight. These tests will be
completed before the Dream Chaser flight vehicle’s first
autonomous free flight Approach and Landing Test (ALT).   
 
“NASA Dryden has always played a vital role in the testing of American flight vehicles,” said
Mark Sirangelo head of SNC’s Space Systems “As the Dream Chaser program takes flight, this
unique opportunity to conduct our tests at the same location as the Space Shuttle begin its flight
brings great pride to our team. We are one step closer to returning U.S. astronauts on a U.S.
vehicle to the International Space Station and in doing so continuing the long standing and
proud legacy that was the Space Shuttle program.”
 
The flight tests will help SNC to determine the glide and landing characteristics of the Dream
Chaser, the only lifting body vehicle funded under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. A similar
program was completed for the iconic Space Shuttle in 1977 at NASA Dryden when the Space
Shuttle Enterprise conducted an ALT as a critical flight test milestone. 
 
In describing the test series Jim Voss, SNC’s vice president of Space Exploration Systems said,
“This will be the first full scale flight test of the Dream Chaser lifting body and will demonstrate
the unique capability of our spacecraft to land on a runway. Other flight tests will follow to
validate the aerodynamic data used to control the vehicle in the atmosphere when it returns
from space.  This is a huge step forward for the SNC and NASA teams towards providing our
nation with safe and reliable transportation to the International Space Station.”
 
About Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems 
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems business area headquartered in Louisville, Colo., designs
and manufactures advanced spacecraft, space vehicles, rocket motors and spacecraft subsystems and
components for the US Government, commercial customers as well as for the international market. 
SNC’s Space Systems has more than 25 years of space heritage in space and has participated in over
400 successful space missions through the delivery of over 4,000 systems, subsystems and components. 
During its history, SNC’s Space Systems has concluded over 70 programs for NASA and over 50 other
clients. For more information about SS visit www.sncspace.com.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #23 on: 05/13/2013 07:30 PM »
And a picture of her all wrapped up like Atlantis was:

Offline IanO

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #24 on: 05/13/2013 08:12 PM »
And a picture of her all wrapped up like Atlantis was:
From that picture, maybe she should be christened "Narwhal"!  What is that spike out front?
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Online Chris Bergin

Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #25 on: 05/13/2013 08:42 PM »
And a picture of her all wrapped up like Atlantis was:
From that picture, maybe she should be christened "Narwhal"!  What is that spike out front?

It's for data. Just like it was on Enterprise.

Offline BrightLight

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #26 on: 05/13/2013 08:45 PM »
And a picture of her all wrapped up like Atlantis was:
From that picture, maybe she should be christened "Narwhal"!  What is that spike out front?

It's for data. Just like it was on Enterprise.
kind of like pitot tubes and such, has to be in front of the aircraft induced perturbation, so a mast is put forward of the nose in the "clean" air.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #27 on: 05/13/2013 09:00 PM »
pitch-yaw air data test boom… :)
“The laws of physics are unforgiving”...
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #28 on: 05/13/2013 09:07 PM »
pitch-yaw air data test boom… :)

Oh, it's got to include dynamic and static pressure too, wouldn't you think?  5-hole probe + static ring?

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #29 on: 05/13/2013 09:24 PM »
pitch-yaw air data test boom… :)

Oh, it's got to include dynamic and static pressure too, wouldn't you think?  5-hole probe + static ring?
Hey Leejay!
Oh yea the basic pitot-static or course. Five holes it could very well be, I’ve seen some probe up to 18 holes. All depends on how many channels of data they wish to get..
“The laws of physics are unforgiving”...
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Online docmordrid

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #30 on: 05/13/2013 09:26 PM »
Pitot tube.
DM

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #31 on: 05/13/2013 09:33 PM »
At the tip doc for sure...
“The laws of physics are unforgiving”...
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #32 on: 05/13/2013 10:16 PM »
From NASA Commercial Crew Program:

SNC Ships Dream Chaser Test Vehicle to Dryden
‎13 ‎May ‎2013, ‏‎21:52:53

Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) Space Systems currently is shipping its Dream Chaser engineering test article from the company's facility in Louisville, Colo., to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., where it will begin its flight test program in collaboration with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP). The five-state journey that began the morning of Saturday, May 11, will take approximately four days to complete.

The testing at Dryden will include tow, captive-carry and free-flight tests of the Dream Chaser. A truck will tow the vehicle down a runway to validate performance of the nose strut, brakes and tires. The captive-carry flights will further examine the loads the vehicle will encounter during flight and test the performance and flutter of the vehicle up to release from an Erickson Skycrane helicopter. The free-flight tests are designed to validate the Dream Chaser's aerodynamics as well as test the flight control surfaces to verify flight characteristics for approach, flare and landing.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/crew/index.html

High res version of photo posted in earlier in thread is available here:
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/748447main_dc-ship.JPG

Offline JAFO

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #33 on: 05/14/2013 06:31 AM »
Hope they get a chance to do a photo op with the M2-F1.
Anyone can do the job when things are going right. In this business we play for keeps.
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #34 on: 05/14/2013 07:44 AM »
If SNC wins... How many Dream Chasers will form the SNC fleet?

I have some names for them:
#1 Dyna Soar
#2 Spiral
#3 Hermes

All names are related to different spacecrafts, from different nations, that (sadly) never leave the Earth.

"Dyna Soar, you're ready for deorbit burn..."
"Spiral has docked with the ISS..."
"Hermes has returned the EXP. xx crew."


It sounds good, don't you? :)
Do you like the names selection?

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #35 on: 05/22/2013 11:05 PM »
Not as good as the previous article, but we have to bookend both shipping to arrival for testing, so that's what this second article does, allowing for me to use the large amount of quotes of late:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/05/bolden-meets-dream-chaser-eta-dryden-tests/

Online Lar

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #36 on: 05/23/2013 03:22 AM »
See
https://twitter.com/NASADryden/status/337253204301590528/photo/1
https://twitter.com/NASADryden/status/337247592587071489/photo/1
https://twitter.com/NASADryden/status/337247592587071489/photo/1

In these pictures taken at Dryden, there is a visible "bulge" showing just forward and above the flag.

Is that one of the drop test attachment points, or is that a protruberance that will be there on the flight vehicle too?
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #37 on: 05/31/2013 04:48 PM »
See
https://twitter.com/NASADryden/status/337253204301590528/photo/1
https://twitter.com/NASADryden/status/337247592587071489/photo/1
https://twitter.com/NASADryden/status/337247592587071489/photo/1

In these pictures taken at Dryden, there is a visible "bulge" showing just forward and above the flag.

Is that one of the drop test attachment points, or is that a protruberance that will be there on the flight vehicle too?

Just drop test attachment points.
« Last Edit: 05/31/2013 04:49 PM by Lars_J »

Offline BrightLight

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #38 on: 06/04/2013 04:29 PM »
Short article on the upcoming DC tests in the Aviation Week web site.

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #39 on: 06/04/2013 06:24 PM »
The article says the DC will be towed by a Ford truck. I wonder if they can get some extra funds by allowing Ford to use the Dream Chaser in a F150 commercial ?

Offline Alpha Control

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #40 on: 06/04/2013 06:47 PM »
Link to the AvWeek article being referred to in the above posts:

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_06_03_2013_p54-582468.xml

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Offline Alpha Control

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #41 on: 06/04/2013 06:57 PM »
In reading the Aviation Week article (which nicely ties the DC ALT program into lifting-body history), it mentions that several ground tests will occur before the first ALT free flight.

One of these is noted as a test of the parachute deployment system. I don't recall hearing about this previously. Can someone clarify this for me?
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Offline BrightLight

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #42 on: 06/04/2013 07:53 PM »
In reading the Aviation Week article (which nicely ties the DC ALT program into lifting-body history), it mentions that several ground tests will occur before the first ALT free flight.

One of these is noted as a test of the parachute deployment system. I don't recall hearing about this previously. Can someone clarify this for me?
- at the end of the article, last paragraph, 1st sentence:
"test of the flight termination and parachute deployment system"
I thought there was not going to be a parachute system, Ii assume from the above statement that this is a brake? for nominal operations or emergency?
P.S starting to look like a real live vehicle - super sweet  ;D

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #43 on: 06/04/2013 11:29 PM »
Short article on the upcoming DC tests in the Aviation Week web site.
She's got a "great stance" sitting on her gear... :)
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Offline Alpha Control

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #44 on: 06/05/2013 01:07 AM »
Short article on the upcoming DC tests in the Aviation Week web site.
She's got a "great stance" sitting on her gear... :)

She certainly does. As we get a better look at her, the details of the skid become more apparent, and it has a visible "heft" to it that I haven't seen before.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #45 on: 06/05/2013 11:21 AM »
Some details on the flight test boom where you see the pitch and yaw vanes at the leading edge as well as some other nice photos... (the red items are "remove before flight" covers and protective locks)

http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/-8YUMvHjQSQ/NASA+Prepares+Test+Dream+Chaser/0JleethpEPj
« Last Edit: 06/05/2013 11:44 AM by Rocket Science »
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #46 on: 06/05/2013 12:58 PM »
I can see the dice quite clearly in this pic.
« Last Edit: 06/05/2013 01:00 PM by ChefPat »
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #47 on: 06/05/2013 02:55 PM »
I didn't notice a nose landing strut door, it looks bare, unlike the rear wheels.

Offline JBF

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #48 on: 06/05/2013 03:29 PM »
I didn't notice a nose landing strut door, it looks bare, unlike the rear wheels.

The DC uses a skid for the front. So no door.
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #49 on: 06/05/2013 03:50 PM »
Finally a clear image of the ETA stern. (Thanks to Rocket Science)
« Last Edit: 06/05/2013 03:55 PM by BrightLight »

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #50 on: 06/05/2013 04:07 PM »
Finally a clear image of the ETA stern. (Thanks to Rocket Science)
Your welcome... and I made sure I sealed the hatch after I climbed inside. The “fuzzy dice” are fun to squeeze... JK  ;D
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Offline Bubbinski

Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #51 on: 06/06/2013 02:42 PM »
Love the pics on this thread.  Dreamchaser looks futuristic from the back.  I hope she gets to fly in space.
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline pospa

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #52 on: 06/07/2013 07:55 AM »
Finally a clear image of the ETA stern. (Thanks to Rocket Science)
Your welcome... and I made sure I sealed the hatch after I climbed inside. The “fuzzy dice” are fun to squeeze... JK  ;D
Any pictures from inside available for sharing ?  ;)
« Last Edit: 06/07/2013 07:56 AM by pospa »

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #53 on: 06/07/2013 12:55 PM »
Finally a clear image of the ETA stern. (Thanks to Rocket Science)
Your welcome... and I made sure I sealed the hatch after I climbed inside. The “fuzzy dice” are fun to squeeze... JK  ;D
Any pictures from inside available for sharing ?  ;)
Ha, only from the sim and a link to the original HL-20/DC mockup to tide you over for now... :)

http://www.flythissim.com/Customer_gallery.html

http://www.colorado.edu/engineering/features-cue-home/astronauts-trade-spaceflight-student-contact
« Last Edit: 06/07/2013 06:31 PM by Rocket Science »
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Offline BrightLight

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #54 on: 07/01/2013 05:25 PM »
DC being towed out to the runway (at Dryden?)
from a video:

at around 4:26 seconds
note the dolly for towing.
« Last Edit: 07/01/2013 05:27 PM by BrightLight »

Offline Disco747

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #55 on: 07/02/2013 03:43 PM »
Thanks for pointing out the towing dolly; when I first read about Dream Chaser's nose skid, I wondered how she was going to be towed, and now I know! :)
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #57 on: 07/07/2013 06:20 PM »
We're getting closer!

Offline Khadgars

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #58 on: 07/07/2013 06:56 PM »
The Dream Chaser has got to be my favorite space craft, so cool!  Best of luck on the coming test!

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #59 on: 07/09/2013 07:38 PM »
That's one mean looking machine! She looks itching to get airborne.
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Offline newpylong

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #60 on: 07/09/2013 08:05 PM »
Totally. Great looking vehicle.

Offline Archibald

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #61 on: 07/10/2013 08:00 AM »
Wow, didn't realized that project was so advanced in its schedule. Looking at the photo I felt "this is no longer powerpoint or CGI. This is real."

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #62 on: 07/10/2013 08:45 AM »
Wow, didn't realized that project was so advanced in its schedule. Looking at the photo I felt "this is no longer powerpoint or CGI. This is real."
Technically it's pretty far behind schedule.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #63 on: 07/10/2013 10:40 AM »
Wow, didn't realized that project was so advanced in its schedule. Looking at the photo I felt "this is no longer powerpoint or CGI. This is real."
Technically it's pretty far behind schedule.
Only a few months behind flight test milestone in August and a month ahead for financial...

http://www.sncspace.com/press_more_info.php?id=361
« Last Edit: 07/10/2013 12:35 PM by Davinator »
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #64 on: 07/10/2013 04:36 PM »
Wow, didn't realized that project was so advanced in its schedule. Looking at the photo I felt "this is no longer powerpoint or CGI. This is real."
Technically it's pretty far behind schedule.
Only a few months behind flight test milestone in August and a month ahead for financial...

http://www.sncspace.com/press_more_info.php?id=361

And the drop test is a year behind schedule.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2013 04:54 PM by manboy »
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Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #65 on: 07/10/2013 04:58 PM »
I thought they were doing OK schedule wise until they lost access to the White Knight. Of course, their ETA at the time probably wasn't really ready enough for those drop tests anyway.

it looks like their agreement with Lockheed has things moving along again.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #66 on: 07/10/2013 05:17 PM »
Wow, didn't realized that project was so advanced in its schedule. Looking at the photo I felt "this is no longer powerpoint or CGI. This is real."
Technically it's pretty far behind schedule.
Only a few months behind flight test milestone in August and a month ahead for financial...

http://www.sncspace.com/press_more_info.php?id=361

And the drop test is a year behind schedule.
True if you don’t consider the loss of WK2 availability and CC not being funded at the requested levels...
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Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #67 on: 07/10/2013 06:40 PM »
They were making great progress until VG decided that the WK2 was needed to support SS2, and wasn't available for DC testing.

There were a bunch of milestones related to mating the DC to the WK2 and captive carry tests. Without help from VG, they needed to find a new partner.

Offline simonbp

Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #68 on: 07/11/2013 04:56 AM »
They seem no more behind than either of the other CCiCaP competitors...

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #69 on: 07/11/2013 10:46 PM »
Dream Chaser Rolls Through Ground Tests

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/crew/index.html

Photo Caption: Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser flight vehicle undergoes taxi tow testing on May 31 at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California.
« Last Edit: 07/12/2013 03:32 AM by Chris Bergin »


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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #71 on: 07/12/2013 12:46 PM »
Tow Test and related overview/status update for Dream Chaser:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/dream-chaser-opening-tow-tests-dryden/
Great article Chris!  :) Nice to see the little bird begin to stretch her legs. What no Toyota?  ;D
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Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #72 on: 07/12/2013 01:43 PM »
The previous picture had the Skid strip on top of a dolly for towing.

I wonder if they are going to actually let the skid strip touch the runway for any of these tests, or if they are just testing that the assembly doesn't collapse during the test. How do you fully test the skid strip during these towing tests ?

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #73 on: 07/12/2013 01:58 PM »
Thanks for pointing out the towing dolly; when I first read about Dream Chaser's nose skid, I wondered how she was going to be towed, and now I know! :)

So that means that the entire (horizontal/pulling) load of the vehicle when towing is transferred through the skid... interesting!

Question for Chris or whoever might know.  The article says
Quote
Dream Chaser – also known unofficially as “Eagle” – will also end her mission by landing on a runway, although there will be some key differences, especially during the actual touchdown.

What are those differences? If you mean between DC and shuttle I'm clear... but it almost read like there are key differences between "Eagle" and the launchable version. Thanks!
« Last Edit: 07/12/2013 02:06 PM by Lar »
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #74 on: 07/12/2013 01:59 PM »
I hope this will be a routine image after a several thousand kilometer trip :)
Super article Chris.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #75 on: 07/12/2013 02:01 PM »
The previous picture had the Skid strip on top of a dolly for towing.

I wonder if they are going to actually let the skid strip touch the runway for any of these tests, or if they are just testing that the assembly doesn't collapse during the test. How do you fully test the skid strip during these towing tests ?
Looks like they are using two different tow dollies from the photos (low and high speed). One of them may have a quick release for detachment at high speed in the last pic from the skid.
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #76 on: 07/12/2013 02:03 PM »
Thanks for pointing out the towing dolly; when I first read about Dream Chaser's nose skid, I wondered how she was going to be towed, and now I know! :)

So that means that the entire (horizontal/pulling) load of the vehicle when towing is transferred through the skid... interesting!
maybe - there appears to be three wheels up front and possibly an attachment to the DC body itself (blow up the picture) so maybe we need a better sideways shot??

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #77 on: 07/12/2013 02:11 PM »
Thanks for pointing out the towing dolly; when I first read about Dream Chaser's nose skid, I wondered how she was going to be towed, and now I know! :)

So that means that the entire (horizontal/pulling) load of the vehicle when towing is transferred through the skid... interesting!
maybe - there appears to be three wheels up front and possibly an attachment to the DC body itself (blow up the picture) so maybe we need a better sideways shot??
I think that’s an angle illusion caused by the right rear main gear. I see only two on the dolly... Let's chip in and send Lee Jay there for a photo... ;D
“The laws of physics are unforgiving”...
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Offline BrightLight

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #78 on: 07/12/2013 02:25 PM »
Thanks for pointing out the towing dolly; when I first read about Dream Chaser's nose skid, I wondered how she was going to be towed, and now I know! :)

So that means that the entire (horizontal/pulling) load of the vehicle when towing is transferred through the skid... interesting!
maybe - there appears to be three wheels up front and possibly an attachment to the DC body itself (blow up the picture) so maybe we need a better sideways shot??
I think that’s an angle illusion caused by the right rear main gear. I see only two on the dolly... Let's chip in and send Lee Jay there for a photo... ;D
Your probably right on the "third wheel" and ...how much will Lee Jay need?

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #79 on: 07/12/2013 04:10 PM »
Thanks for pointing out the towing dolly; when I first read about Dream Chaser's nose skid, I wondered how she was going to be towed, and now I know! :)

So that means that the entire (horizontal/pulling) load of the vehicle when towing is transferred through the skid... interesting!
maybe - there appears to be three wheels up front and possibly an attachment to the DC body itself (blow up the picture) so maybe we need a better sideways shot??
I think that’s an angle illusion caused by the right rear main gear. I see only two on the dolly... Let's chip in and send Lee Jay there for a photo... ;D
Your probably right on the "third wheel" and ...how much will Lee Jay need?
I guess we should ask him if he wants to go first... :)
“The laws of physics are unforgiving”...
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #80 on: 07/12/2013 07:32 PM »
SNC's Dream Chaser Prepared For Testing

Published on Jul 12, 2013
This time-lapse video shows Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) team attaching the wings and tail of the company's Dream Chaser flight vehicle May 18. The crew prepared the vehicle for ground and free-flight tests, which are scheduled throughout 2013. SNC is one of only three companies working with NASA to develop space transportation systems capable of flying astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station later this decade. The work completed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center will demonstrate the winged vehicle's ability to safely land an astronaut crew on a runway.

Tony De La Rosa

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #81 on: 07/12/2013 07:41 PM »
Thanks for pointing out the towing dolly; when I first read about Dream Chaser's nose skid, I wondered how she was going to be towed, and now I know! :)

So that means that the entire (horizontal/pulling) load of the vehicle when towing is transferred through the skid... interesting!
maybe - there appears to be three wheels up front and possibly an attachment to the DC body itself (blow up the picture) so maybe we need a better sideways shot??
I think that’s an angle illusion caused by the right rear main gear. I see only two on the dolly... Let's chip in and send Lee Jay there for a photo... ;D
Your probably right on the "third wheel" and ...how much will Lee Jay need?
I guess we should ask him if he wants to go first... :)

Well it's been almost 100F lately in Colorado anyway!
« Last Edit: 07/12/2013 07:42 PM by Lee Jay »

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #82 on: 07/13/2013 12:13 PM »
Three photos of tow testing from Kennedy Media Gallery.  KSC has the entries dated July 27, 2013 (clearly wrong) - looking at the file number sequence, in comparison other gallery photos, they may be from July 11, 2013 (any exif data in the files has been removed).

Shows a bit more detail of the skid structure, which is also supported by a two-wheeled dolly in this sequence.

KSC description for last photo:

Edwards, Calif. – ED13-0215-072 - Sierra Nevada Corporation SNC Space Systems' team members tow the Dream Chaser flight vehicle along a concrete runway at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California for range and taxi tow tests. The ground testing will validate the performance of the spacecraft's nose skid, brakes, tires and other systems prior to captive-carry and free-flight tests scheduled for later this year.

EDIT: Date of these photographs are June 27, 2013 - I found originals with EXIF data still intact.  Photo credits: NASA/Ken Ulbrich
« Last Edit: 07/16/2013 10:39 AM by AnalogMan »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #83 on: 07/13/2013 02:30 PM »
Thanks for pointing out the towing dolly; when I first read about Dream Chaser's nose skid, I wondered how she was going to be towed, and now I know! :)

So that means that the entire (horizontal/pulling) load of the vehicle when towing is transferred through the skid... interesting!
maybe - there appears to be three wheels up front and possibly an attachment to the DC body itself (blow up the picture) so maybe we need a better sideways shot??
I think that’s an angle illusion caused by the right rear main gear. I see only two on the dolly... Let's chip in and send Lee Jay there for a photo... ;D
Your probably right on the "third wheel" and ...how much will Lee Jay need?
I guess we should ask him if he wants to go first... :)

Well it's been almost 100F lately in Colorado anyway!

I guess you’re all acclimated then.  ;)
“The laws of physics are unforgiving”...
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #84 on: 07/13/2013 02:31 PM »
Three photos of tow testing from Kennedy Media Gallery.  KSC has the entries dated July 27, 2013 (clearly wrong) - looking at the file number sequence, in comparison other gallery photos, they may be from July 11, 2013 (any exif data in the files has been removed).

Shows a bit more detail of the skid structure, which is also supported by a two-wheeled dolly in this sequence.

KSC description for last photo:

Edwards, Calif. – ED13-0215-072 - Sierra Nevada Corporation SNC Space Systems' team members tow the Dream Chaser flight vehicle along a concrete runway at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California for range and taxi tow tests. The ground testing will validate the performance of the spacecraft's nose skid, brakes, tires and other systems prior to captive-carry and free-flight tests scheduled for later this year.
Note the wool tufts for the aerodynamic tests... Boom makes a convenient place to hang your backpacks.  ;D Thanks for posting them! :)
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Offline Overflow

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #85 on: 07/13/2013 06:50 PM »
I was wondering what that was on the front of the Dream Chaser.

I would love to get a closer look at the skid pad.

I saw a model of Dream Chaser at KSCVC yesterday. I'm really excited for this program.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #86 on: 07/14/2013 01:12 AM »
Three photos of tow testing from Kennedy Media Gallery.

With the amount of what appears to be Duck Tape on that vehicle, I can't see how it could do anything other than fly brilliantly.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #87 on: 07/14/2013 01:22 AM »
Three photos of tow testing from Kennedy Media Gallery.

With the amount of what appears to be Duck Tape on that vehicle, I can't see how it could do anything other than fly brilliantly.
every experimentalist knows that it what ever your testing:
if it don't got duck tape (yellow), it ain't gonna work.

Offline Alpha Control

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #88 on: 07/14/2013 04:11 AM »
Three photos of tow testing from Kennedy Media Gallery.  KSC has the entries dated July 27, 2013 (clearly wrong) - looking at the file number sequence, in comparison other gallery photos, they may be from July 11, 2013 (any exif data in the files has been removed).

Shows a bit more detail of the skid structure, which is also supported by a two-wheeled dolly in this sequence.

KSC description for last photo:

Edwards, Calif. – ED13-0215-072 - Sierra Nevada Corporation SNC Space Systems' team members tow the Dream Chaser flight vehicle along a concrete runway at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California for range and taxi tow tests. The ground testing will validate the performance of the spacecraft's nose skid, brakes, tires and other systems prior to captive-carry and free-flight tests scheduled for later this year.
Note the wool tufts for the aerodynamic tests... Boom makes a convenient place to hang your backpacks.  ;D Thanks for posting them! :)

Good note on the wool tufts. I looked more closely and they seem best visible in the 1st photo - 3023 (which shows rear entry hatch & side view of NASA van). You can see the tufts quite well on the starboard wing.
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #89 on: 07/14/2013 06:48 AM »

Note the wool tufts for the aerodynamic tests... Boom makes a convenient place to hang your backpacks.  ;D Thanks for posting them! :)

LOL. As long as nothing breaks off... then they'd be in trouble!
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #90 on: 07/15/2013 02:12 PM »

Note the wool tufts for the aerodynamic tests... Boom makes a convenient place to hang your backpacks.  ;D Thanks for posting them! :)

LOL. As long as nothing breaks off... then they'd be in trouble!

I saw the mount for that boom when the vehicle was apart in Colorado.  It was beefy to say the least.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #91 on: 08/02/2013 04:34 AM »
Do we know how many ETA drop test flights have been planned? I don't recall seeing the specific number of test flights announced previously. It could well be dependent on the flight test results; I was just curious.

 
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #92 on: 08/13/2013 10:54 PM »
Dream Chaser Rolls Through Ground Tests

Published on Aug 13, 2013
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) put its Dream Chaser flight vehicle through a series of ground tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The 10, 20, 40 and 60 mile per hour range and taxi tow tests along concrete runways are helping the company assess the performance of the winged vehicle's braking and landing systems. SNC's ongoing development work supports its funded Space Act Agreement with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) during the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) phase. SNC currently is one of three companies working with NASA during CCiCap to return a national capability to launch astronauts to low-Earth orbit from U.S. soil.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #93 on: 08/13/2013 11:00 PM »

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #94 on: 08/13/2013 11:05 PM »
Do we know how many ETA drop test flights have been planned? I don't recall seeing the specific number of test flights announced previously.

3-6, last time I got data from them (it's on L2).  Of course, everything is subject to change.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #95 on: 08/13/2013 11:13 PM »

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #96 on: 08/13/2013 11:16 PM »
There are also 22 photos of the tow tests (Aug 2, 2013) that were posted today on the Kennedy Media Gallery:

http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=240

 

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #97 on: 08/13/2013 11:36 PM »
Great pics and video. Thanks for posting them! :)
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #98 on: 08/14/2013 12:59 AM »
Absolutely beautiful!

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #99 on: 08/14/2013 01:26 AM »
I was having a bad day. Seeing these wonderful pics and video of the DC made it quite a bit better.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #100 on: 08/14/2013 07:41 AM »
Reply #100.

Still no drop.

I'm getting impatient  :P

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #101 on: 08/15/2013 01:39 PM »
Interesting to note the control configuation in the video as the body flaps are being used as speed brakes as well during braking similar to the X-24A.

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4220/ch7.htm
« Last Edit: 08/15/2013 01:46 PM by Rocket Science »
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #102 on: 08/15/2013 07:29 PM »
More good news for Dream Chaser, two optional milestones are funded:
http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/page.cfm?ID=38

see amendment #2 for SNC

"1)   Split Optional Milestone 10,
Integrated Critical Design Review,
into two milestones (lOa and lOb) and then add Optional Milestone lOa as a base milestone.
2)   Split Optional Milestone 15,
Reaction Control System Testing,
into  two milestones (15a and 15b} and then add Optional Milestone 15a as a base milestone.

Milestone 10a is funded at $5M
Milestone 15a is funded at $10M
total of $15M (Thanks to JSz)
« Last Edit: 08/15/2013 09:13 PM by BrightLight »

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #103 on: 08/15/2013 08:52 PM »
Milestone 10a is funded at $5M
Milestone 15a is funded at $15M

Not $5 + $15M but $5 + $10M.
See: http://www.nasa.gov/content/four-milestones-added-to-commercial-crew-agreements/#.Ug0-mayqDrR

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #105 on: 08/16/2013 04:28 PM »
At this point, I have to ask the unthinkable. What if Dreamchaser crashes during the drop test. Does it mean the Dreamchaser program gets fast tracked to the recycle bin? How would that affect the commercial manned program overall? Would that give ammunition for the foes of commercial spaceflight in congress?
« Last Edit: 08/16/2013 04:31 PM by mr. mark »

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #106 on: 08/16/2013 04:53 PM »
At this point, I have to ask the unthinkable. What if Dreamchaser crashes during the drop test. Does it mean the Dreamchaser program gets fast tracked to the recycle bin? How would that affect the commercial manned program overall? Would that give ammunition for the foes of commercial spaceflight in congress?

I think it would largely on what you mean by "crash". If it just falls straight to the earth without any gliding whatsoever after being released from the helicopter, then I believe that the program is in danger. If glides, but is harder to control then imagined, then I think that it still has a slim chance at survival.

If DreamChaser does fail, then I fear that Congress will use it against the American manned spaceflight program.
« Last Edit: 08/16/2013 04:54 PM by Overflow »

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #107 on: 08/16/2013 05:14 PM »
For better or worse Dreamchaser is the first "physical" commercial manned spacecraft to be tested out of the gate. A lot is riding on this test. It's one thing for SpaceX to have a partial success on a parachute drop test. Meaning possibly a partial chute deploy. It's another for Dreamchaser to come crashing down. For this drop test Dreamchaser will be the posterboy for the whole commercial spaceflight industry. Here's to a successful drop test.   

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #109 on: 08/16/2013 05:50 PM »
For better or worse Dreamchaser is the first "physical" commercial manned spacecraft to be tested out of the gate. A lot is riding on this test. It's one thing for SpaceX to have a partial success on a parachute drop test. Meaning possibly a partial chute deploy. It's another for Dreamchaser to come crashing down. For this drop test Dreamchaser will be the posterboy for the whole commercial spaceflight industry. Here's to a successful drop test.   
Depends on what you mean. Dragon and CST-100 have been tested numerous times, Dragon in orbit. Dreamchaser has not, so far, been tested in this manner full-scale. The actual airframe is supposed to be used for the eventual flight, but does this mean Dreamchaser is ahead or does it mean it doesn't have enough cash to have a separate airframe for tests and for eventual flight?

Anyway, I have confidence in the team that Dreamchaser will be successful in this drop-test like Boeing and SpaceX have been with theirs.
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Offline mr. mark

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #110 on: 08/16/2013 06:32 PM »
Spacex's cargo vehicle is very different in some ways from the manned version. So really the dragon manned version has not been tested yet physically. Boeing's CST-100 capsule drop test was really just a shell. Dreamchaser will be the first test of an actual, although, partial vehicle.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #111 on: 08/16/2013 06:36 PM »
Spacex's cargo vehicle is very different in some ways from the manned version. So really the dragon manned version has not been tested yet physically. Boeing's CST-100 capsule drop test was really just a shell. Dreamchaser will be the first test of an actual, although, partial vehicle.

I think we all know that. The point is that many systems that will be in common HAVE been tested on orbit, in an actual flying spacecraft. Not a partial/structural test article - even if the shape of this "partial vehicle" is close to the final vehicle.
« Last Edit: 08/16/2013 06:36 PM by Lars_J »

Offline mr. mark

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #112 on: 08/16/2013 07:02 PM »
Spacex's cargo vehicle is very different in some ways from the manned version. So really the dragon manned version has not been tested yet physically. Boeing's CST-100 capsule drop test was really just a shell. Dreamchaser will be the first test of an actual, although, partial vehicle.

I think we all know that. The point is that many systems that will be in common HAVE been tested on orbit, in an actual flying spacecraft. Not a partial/structural test article - even if the shape of this "partial vehicle" is close to the final vehicle.
Understand and point taken. It's true that some of Dragon's manned systems have flown on an actual cargo vehicle to orbit. It will be interesting to see how the race shakes out in 2014 with Spacex's pad abort and inflight abort tests. I have a feeling though that a successful Dreamchaser drop test could go a long way in cementing a top 2 position in the upcoming dowselection. Especially if Boeing or SpaceX appear to lag for whatever reason.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #113 on: 08/16/2013 07:07 PM »
Spacex's cargo vehicle is very different in some ways from the manned version. So really the dragon manned version has not been tested yet physically. Boeing's CST-100 capsule drop test was really just a shell. Dreamchaser will be the first test of an actual, although, partial vehicle.

I think we all know that. The point is that many systems that will be in common HAVE been tested on orbit, in an actual flying spacecraft. Not a partial/structural test article - even if the shape of this "partial vehicle" is close to the final vehicle.
Understand and point taken. It's true that some of Dragon's manned systems have flown on an actual cargo vehicle to orbit. It will be interesting to see how the race shakes out in 2014 with Spacex's pad abort and inflight abort tests. I have a feeling though that a successful Dreamchaser drop test could go a long way in cementing a top 2 position in the upcoming dowselection. Especially if Boeing or SpaceX appear to lag for whatever reason.
I'm not sure it'd cement them ahead of Boeing just because Dreamchaser isn't going to build more airframes and so plans to use this test airframe for the flight vehicle.
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #114 on: 08/16/2013 07:22 PM »
I believe that this drop test is Dreamchaser's first "moment". A success builds momentum and could change a lot of minds as to the programs "validity". In other words, this is where the rubber meets the road. Maybe not from an overall engineering standpoint but, definately for future funding and public perception.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #115 on: 08/16/2013 07:26 PM »
An orbital launch test is the gold standard. To me, it doesn't matter much if it's manned or not. I'm still worried about the propulsion system closing.
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #116 on: 08/16/2013 07:40 PM »
Spacex's cargo vehicle is very different in some ways from the manned version. So really the dragon manned version has not been tested yet physically. Boeing's CST-100 capsule drop test was really just a shell. Dreamchaser will be the first test of an actual, although, partial vehicle.

I think we all know that. The point is that many systems that will be in common HAVE been tested on orbit, in an actual flying spacecraft. Not a partial/structural test article - even if the shape of this "partial vehicle" is close to the final vehicle.
Understand and point taken. It's true that some of Dragon's manned systems have flown on an actual cargo vehicle to orbit. It will be interesting to see how the race shakes out in 2014 with Spacex's pad abort and inflight abort tests. I have a feeling though that a successful Dreamchaser drop test could go a long way in cementing a top 2 position in the upcoming dowselection. Especially if Boeing or SpaceX appear to lag for whatever reason.
I'm not sure it'd cement them ahead of Boeing just because Dreamchaser isn't going to build more airframes and so plans to use this test airframe for the flight vehicle.

I don't believe this actual airframe is going to space. That's the job of the next one. I do believe this ETA is a lot more functional than the aluminum shells used in the capsule drop tests

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #117 on: 08/16/2013 07:42 PM »
Spacex's cargo vehicle is very different in some ways from the manned version. So really the dragon manned version has not been tested yet physically. Boeing's CST-100 capsule drop test was really just a shell. Dreamchaser will be the first test of an actual, although, partial vehicle.

I think we all know that. The point is that many systems that will be in common HAVE been tested on orbit, in an actual flying spacecraft. Not a partial/structural test article - even if the shape of this "partial vehicle" is close to the final vehicle.
Understand and point taken. It's true that some of Dragon's manned systems have flown on an actual cargo vehicle to orbit. It will be interesting to see how the race shakes out in 2014 with Spacex's pad abort and inflight abort tests. I have a feeling though that a successful Dreamchaser drop test could go a long way in cementing a top 2 position in the upcoming dowselection. Especially if Boeing or SpaceX appear to lag for whatever reason.
I'm not sure it'd cement them ahead of Boeing just because Dreamchaser isn't going to build more airframes and so plans to use this test airframe for the flight vehicle.

I don't believe this actual airframe is going to space. That's the job of the next one. I do believe this ETA is a lot more functional than the aluminum shells used in the capsule drop tests
More functional than the ones that went to ISS?

I'll be very interested when I see an airframe with full TPS and full propulsive capability tested. Then it'll be real!
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline dcporter

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #118 on: 08/16/2013 10:41 PM »
I'll be very interested when I see an airframe with full TPS and full propulsive capability tested. Then it'll be real!

Agreed. In the mean time, it will only be awesome.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #119 on: 08/16/2013 10:42 PM »
I'll be very interested when I see an airframe with full TPS and full propulsive capability tested. Then it'll be real!

Agreed. In the mean time, it will only be awesome.
+Yes
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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #120 on: 08/16/2013 10:46 PM »
My latest: Dream Chasing

http://theklydemorrisproject.blogspot.com/2013/08/dream-chasing.html
Nice one Wes! :) I like the personal story with Dale Reed...
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Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #122 on: 08/21/2013 07:09 PM »
Best of luck to the DC team.  To quote Michael Valentine Smith:

Winged bodies are.

And thanks to zerm here for a good fifteen minutes of chuckles:

Wes has been drawing Klyde Morris since 1978 stopping only to take part in a career as an professional pilot. After 3 different airlines and one corporate operation, he can now state flatly that he has had the privilege of working for 4 of the worst air carriers in the nation. Thus, he went back to cartooning.

Keep in mind, I am a professional.
Let' see... You chuckled for 15 minutes... you owe me 75 cents. ;)
Wes
« Last Edit: 08/21/2013 07:10 PM by zerm »

Offline Space Pete

Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #123 on: 08/22/2013 09:35 PM »
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser® Takes Flight at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center

Sparks, NV – August 22, 2013 – Today Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser® spacecraft successfully completed a full-scale captive-carry test. The test in which the Dream Chaser was carried under an Erickson Air-Crane helicopter was conducted at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.

The captive-carry test was performed in order to test and validate several of the Dream Chaser systems and sub-systems prior to the upcoming free-flight test. The software tested included: flight computer; guidance, navigation and control; aero surfaces; and the landing gear and nose skid, which was deployed during flight. In May 2012, SNC performed a similar, but less extensive, captive-carry test in Broomfield, Colo., under the Commercial Crew Development 2 (CCDev2) agreement with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

“Today is the first time we have flown a fully functional Dream Chaser spacecraft, and we are very pleased with the results,” said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of SNC’s Space Systems. “Our team represents the very best in collaboration between industry and government. We have worked closely with NASA, Dryden and the Air Force to reach this important milestone in our flight test program. We will continue to work together to prepare for the approach-and-landing free-flight test. We look forward to seeing Dream Chaser land on the same runway as the space shuttle orbiters once did as we move forward in the development of the next-generation crew transportation vehicle.”

The captive-carry test is just one in a series of tests completed at Dryden. To date, the Dream Chaser team has completed ground taxi- and tow-tests, evaluated the performance of the main landing gear and completed a flight test readiness review.  All systems have been verified and the Dream Chaser flight vehicle will undergo final preparations for the upcoming approach-and-landing test (ALT) scheduled for fall 2013.

"It's great to see real American-made hardware taking flight right here in the U.S.," said Ed Mango, CCP manager. "This is just the start of an exciting flight test campaign for SNC's Dream Chaser at Dryden."

SNC is one of three companies funded under NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative to develop a next-generation crew transportation vehicle and the only reusable, lifting body vehicle with runway landing capability. The Dream Chaser space vehicle is on the forefront of the commercial human spaceflight industry, offering safe, reliable, and cost-effective crew and critical cargo transportation to low-Earth orbit.

http://www.sncorp.com/press_more_info.php?id=563
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Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #124 on: 08/22/2013 09:38 PM »
Great to see it off the ground.

What's the purpose of the trailing parachute ?

Offline Space Pete

Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #125 on: 08/22/2013 09:45 PM »
Great to see it off the ground.

What's the purpose of the trailing parachute ?

To ensure the vehicle stays pointing into the velocity vector, i.e. doesn't start rotating about its yaw axis.
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Offline BrightLight

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #126 on: 08/22/2013 09:46 PM »
Positive test points and milestones keep racking up for the DC - soon to see a free flight, maybe next month  :)

Offline VDD1991

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #127 on: 08/23/2013 04:59 AM »
Now that Dream Chaser completed two critical milestones this month, I'm looking forward to seeing Dream Chaser make its first free flight this fall.

If the Dream Chaser drop test program is successful, then NASA may escalate plans to conduct orbital flight tests of Dream Chaser with the hope that US astronauts will end their two year reliance on the Soyuz spacecraft. I wonder if John Glenn and all the veteran Space Shuttle pilots might live to hop onboard the Dream Chaser.

Offline JAFO

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #128 on: 08/23/2013 06:45 AM »
Now that Dream Chaser completed two critical milestones this month, I'm looking forward to seeing Dream Chaser make its first free flight this fall.

If the Dream Chaser drop test program is successful, then NASA may escalate plans to conduct orbital flight tests of Dream Chaser with the hope that US astronauts will end their two year reliance on the Soyuz spacecraft. I wonder if John Glenn and all the veteran Space Shuttle pilots might live to hop onboard the Dream Chaser.

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Offline QuantumG

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #129 on: 08/23/2013 06:46 AM »
Welcome to the forum VDD1991. We all certainly hope for the best for Dream Chaser.
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Online AnalogMan

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #130 on: 08/23/2013 02:11 PM »
One more photo of the carry test.

Caption:
EDWARDS AFB, Calif. - ED13-0300-003 – An Erickson Air-Crane helicopter lifts Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser flight vehicle during a captive-carry flight test. The test was a rehearsal for free flights at Edwards later this year. The spacecraft is under development in partnership with NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Although the spacecraft is designed for crew members, the vehicle will not have anyone onboard during the free flights. Photo credit: NASA/Carla Thomas

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #131 on: 08/23/2013 03:11 PM »
Do they have a solution for getting higher and/or more speed than the SkyCrane will allow ?

Offline SaxtonHale

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #132 on: 08/23/2013 03:16 PM »
Do they have a solution for getting higher and/or more speed than the SkyCrane will allow ?


An Atlas V  ;D

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #133 on: 08/23/2013 03:25 PM »
Do they have a solution for getting higher and/or more speed than the SkyCrane will allow ?


An Atlas V  ;D

I'm anxious to see that test as well, but I assumed their might be some little baby steps in-between the 12K-15K feet/100 mph and orbital flight.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #134 on: 08/23/2013 03:29 PM »
Cool!
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #135 on: 08/23/2013 06:25 PM »
Do they have a solution for getting higher and/or more speed than the SkyCrane will allow ?


An Atlas V  ;D

I'm anxious to see that test as well, but I assumed their might be some little baby steps in-between the 12K-15K feet/100 mph and orbital flight.

There are, but possibly not with the ETA.  They have plans for a higher and faster drop with a different lift/tow vehicle, and for powered flight using the hybrids after the drop to accelerate and climb further than that.
« Last Edit: 08/23/2013 06:25 PM by Lee Jay »

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #136 on: 08/23/2013 08:53 PM »
Do they have a solution for getting higher and/or more speed than the SkyCrane will allow ?


An Atlas V  ;D

I'm anxious to see that test as well, but I assumed their might be some little baby steps in-between the 12K-15K feet/100 mph and orbital flight.

There are, but possibly not with the ETA.  They have plans for a higher and faster drop with a different lift/tow vehicle, and for powered flight using the hybrids after the drop to accelerate and climb further than that.
Good plan, what's the timeline on these tests?
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #137 on: 08/24/2013 02:27 AM »
Do they have a solution for getting higher and/or more speed than the SkyCrane will allow ?


An Atlas V  ;D

I'm anxious to see that test as well, but I assumed their might be some little baby steps in-between the 12K-15K feet/100 mph and orbital flight.

There are, but possibly not with the ETA.  They have plans for a higher and faster drop with a different lift/tow vehicle, and for powered flight using the hybrids after the drop to accelerate and climb further than that.
Good plan, what's the timeline on these tests?

I would guess next summer or later but that's little more than speculation.

Offline ChefPat

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #138 on: 08/24/2013 02:56 PM »
They have plans for a powered flight using the hybrids after the drop to accelerate and climb further than that.
That's the test I have a really hard time waiting for.
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Offline catdlr

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #139 on: 08/29/2013 07:27 PM »
My Edited Video

Source unknown but posted on NASAKenedy YouTube site

Published on Aug 29, 2013


« Last Edit: 08/29/2013 07:27 PM by catdlr »
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Offline mike robel

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #140 on: 08/29/2013 09:54 PM »
Funny how the X-15 used a nose wheel and this uses a skid.  Just interesting...

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #141 on: 08/31/2013 01:10 AM »
Funny how the X-15 used a nose wheel and this uses a skid.  Just interesting...

Pretty interesting I would say... They figured the skids at the rear of the X-15 added stability as well as braking on the dry lake bed. The X-20 was going to use similar skids at the rear with “wire steel brushes” underneath them.

Since DC will be landing on paved runways may have been a factor for the wheels on the main gear as on the HL-20
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Offline JAFO

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #142 on: 08/31/2013 07:24 AM »
Funny how the X-15 used a nose wheel and this uses a skid.  Just interesting...

Pretty interesting I would say... They figured the skids at the rear of the X-15 added stability as well as braking on the dry lake bed. The X-20 was going to use similar skids at the rear with “wire steel brushes” underneath them.

Since DC will be landing on paved runways may have been a factor for the wheels on the main gear as on the HL-20


Wheels on the main gear allow steering via directional braking, while eliminating nose wheel steering.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #143 on: 08/31/2013 11:22 AM »
Funny how the X-15 used a nose wheel and this uses a skid.  Just interesting...

Pretty interesting I would say... They figured the skids at the rear of the X-15 added stability as well as braking on the dry lake bed. The X-20 was going to use similar skids at the rear with “wire steel brushes” underneath them.

Since DC will be landing on paved runways may have been a factor for the wheels on the main gear as on the HL-20


Wheels on the main gear allow steering via directional braking, while eliminating nose wheel steering.
Correct, I've mentioned that before a while back on other DC threads as well. ;)

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=9921.msg878422#msg878422
« Last Edit: 08/31/2013 11:27 AM by Rocket Science »
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Offline JAFO

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #144 on: 09/02/2013 05:24 AM »

Correct, I've mentioned that before a while back on other DC threads as well. ;)

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=9921.msg878422#msg878422

Knew I had read it on here but didn't remember the source. Thanks for the reminder. :respect:
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #145 on: 09/05/2013 12:49 AM »
Spacex's cargo vehicle is very different in some ways from the manned version. So really the dragon manned version has not been tested yet physically. Boeing's CST-100 capsule drop test was really just a shell. Dreamchaser will be the first test of an actual, although, partial vehicle.

I think we all know that. The point is that many systems that will be in common HAVE been tested on orbit, in an actual flying spacecraft. Not a partial/structural test article - even if the shape of this "partial vehicle" is close to the final vehicle.
Understand and point taken. It's true that some of Dragon's manned systems have flown on an actual cargo vehicle to orbit. It will be interesting to see how the race shakes out in 2014 with Spacex's pad abort and inflight abort tests. I have a feeling though that a successful Dreamchaser drop test could go a long way in cementing a top 2 position in the upcoming dowselection. Especially if Boeing or SpaceX appear to lag for whatever reason.
I'm not sure it'd cement them ahead of Boeing just because Dreamchaser isn't going to build more airframes and so plans to use this test airframe for the flight vehicle.

I don't believe this actual airframe is going to space. That's the job of the next one. I do believe this ETA is a lot more functional than the aluminum shells used in the capsule drop tests
More functional than the ones that went to ISS?

I'll be very interested when I see an airframe with full TPS and full propulsive capability tested. Then it'll be real!

They are building another airframe already (the FTA - under  construction at MAF by LM) which they plan to fly propulsively and at  higher speeds and altitudes, and possibly to orbit.


Offline ChefPat

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #146 on: 09/06/2013 06:13 PM »
They are building another airframe already (the FTA - under  construction at MAF by LM) which they plan to fly propulsively and at  higher speeds and altitudes, and possibly to orbit.
A Sierra Nevada ship is being built by Lockheed Martin at a NASA Facility?
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Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #147 on: 09/06/2013 08:10 PM »
They are building another airframe already (the FTA - under  construction at MAF by LM) which they plan to fly propulsively and at  higher speeds and altitudes, and possibly to orbit.
A Sierra Nevada ship is being built by Lockheed Martin at a NASA Facility?

Yes, LM is a subcontractor to SNC.

If NASA has extra space at MAF, why shouldn't LM lease some of it ?


Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #148 on: 09/07/2013 11:41 PM »
They are building another airframe already (the FTA - under  construction at MAF by LM) which they plan to fly propulsively and at  higher speeds and altitudes, and possibly to orbit.
A Sierra Nevada ship is being built by Lockheed Martin at a NASA Facility?

It's on the news site.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/01/dream-chaser-breathe-new-life-into-michoud/

Offline JAFO

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #149 on: 09/08/2013 12:38 AM »
Any word on when the drop test will be?
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Offline Overflow

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Re: Dream Chaser ETA heads to Dryden for drop tests
« Reply #150 on: 09/08/2013 07:58 PM »
Any word on when the drop test will be?

That's what I'm wondering too. I heard summer of 2013 thrown around a little, and now I'm hearing September of 2013.

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