Dream Chaser's Thermal Protection System (TPS) tiles are unique in design and differ in size, shape, thickness and density. The difference between the black and white tiles is an additive to the outer glass coating that helps to balance the heat absorbed.
More photos have been provided by Sierra Space (@SierraSpaceCo) to NSF, showing Dream Chaser Tenacity's aerosurfaces.Just like the Space Shuttle, Dream Chaser is a space plane with a lifting body design. These aerosurfaces come into play during the final phase of her mission, as the vehicle targets a glide path to a runway. This capability was lost after the retirement of the Shuttle and will be a key capability for critical downmass turnaround, such as experiments returning from the ISS.
When Dream Chaser Tenacity completes her maiden mission next year, it will mark the return of ISS downmass capability to a runway for the first time since Atlantis concluded STS-135 in 2011. NSF spoke with Sierra Space (@SierraSpaceCo) about the TPS tasked with protecting Tenacity's return. https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2023/09/dream-chaser-tps/ - by Sawyer Rosenstein (@thenasaman).
Sierra Space gave @NASASpaceflight an inside look at the thermal protection system (TPS) tasked with protecting Dream Chaser, which is covered with more than two thousand individual tiles.
Additional exclusive photos provided by Sierra Space (@SierraSpaceCo) to NSF:Shooting Star cargo modules: This image taken earlier this year shows Shooting Star cargo modules one and two on the production floor. Fluid lines for thrusters and environmental controls require a clean room environment to be installed. This prevents FOD (Foreign Object Debris) from getting into the lines. Sierra Space built a large mobile clean room to control the environment and prevent FOD. Shooting Star cargo module Internal: These cargo panels help restrain cargo in the vehicle. Shooting Star makes full use of space and will store cargo on both sides of the panel, and most of the tunnel will be filled with cargo. Pins on each side of the panel can be removed to swing open. UDC (Uncrewed Dream Chaser) Internal: Technicians install harnesses into Dream Chaser Tenacity. These harnesses connect the power for the entire spacecraft and all the control systems for flight and environment to the avionics rack at the very front of the spacecraft. This is the nervous system and brain of the entire vehicle.
Dream Chaser’s forward down thrusters will experience some of the hottest temperatures on reentry. Shown with the thermal protection system carrier plate, the thruster nozzles help guide Dream Chaser for docking with the @Space_Station.
Sierra Space has successfully completed it's first mission Flight Operations Review at @NASA_Johnson. The week-long review was a culmination of intensive effort in preparation for Dream Chaser's mission to the @Space_Station.Link:
Sierra Space and NASA Prepare for Revolutionary Dream Chaser® Spaceplane’s Debut Mission to Space StationOCTOBER 26, 2023LOUISVILLE, Colo. – Oct. 26, 2023 – Sierra Space, a leading pureplay commercial space company building the first end-to-end business and technology platform in space, announced today the successful completion of the first mission Flight Operations Review at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, a crucial step in preparation for the inaugural Dream Chaser mission to the International Space Station.This milestone was achieved through an exceptional collaboration between the Sierra Space Dream Chaser flight control team and their counterparts at NASA. The week-long review, which concluded on October 20, was the culmination of an intensive effort involving representatives from across Sierra Space and NASA; in total, over 200 critical elements were baselined, representing thousands of hours of collective development.“Precision and practice are paramount in the development of the revolutionary Dream Chaser spaceplane, particularly in the context of rendezvous and berthing operations at the International Space Station,” said Tom Vice, CEO for Sierra Space. “Our team is committed to conducting simulation exercises for every facet of the mission, ensuring the highest likelihood of success and safety.”With a heritage of over three decades in spaceflight applications, Sierra Space brings unparalleled expertise to the development of the first-ever winged commercial spaceplane, Dream Chaser. Under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract, NASA has chosen Dream Chaser to provide crucial cargo delivery, return and disposal services for the International Space Station (ISS) for a minimum of seven missions.
Today, we are one step closer to enabling major breakthroughs in space as Dream Chaser Tenacity prepares for its journey to NASA Armstrong.
Yesterday, @SierraSpaceCo hosted @NASASpaceflight at its production plant in Lafayette, Colorado, as teams prepare Dream Chaser for its shipment to the Cape. Tenacity will be shipped in the coming weeks, for launch on Vulcan flight two.
We also got a first look at the beautiful mission patch for Tenacity's first mission. An employee wood worked then hand-painted this large patch.
Sierra Space is not stopping at just Tenacity, as work has started on Tail 2 (yet to be named); CEO Tom Vice noted that the build has had 80% fewer issues during the build process, resulting in quicker assembly and lower cost. He added Tail 2 is roughly 24 months behind Tenacity.
Dream Chaser is finally about to leave its nest.@StephenClark1 got a good look at the vehicle this week:
Here’s a walk around view of Dream Chaser. It will ship later this month to a NASA facility in Ohio for environmental testing, then to Florida for launch on ULA’s second Vulcan rocket.
Sierra Space and #NASA have successfully completed a joint thermal vacuum demonstration test at NASA's Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio. This test was performed in preparation for integrated Dream Chaser spacecraft environmental tests, planned later this year.
The test validated the ability of NASA's In-Space Propulsion Facility to achieve both hot and cold temperature extremes under vacuum, along with a collection of critical data needed to increase accuracy/fidelity of models used to predict thermal conditions & vehicle performance.
“We have arrived at a profound milestone in both our company’s journey and our industry’s future,” said CEO Tom Vice.Tenacity, the first vehicle in the Dream Chaser fleet is complete, and will ship to NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in coming weeks.https://sierraspace.com/newsroom/press
I don't believe that this image of crewed DC has been posted in this thread before:https://twitter.com/DutchSpace/status/1722609536492786015The image below has been posted in this thread before but was enhanced to show more details:https://twitter.com/DutchSpace/status/1613486689686528001
Nov 30, 2023Rigorous environmental testing has begun for the Shooting Star cargo module - Dream Chaser's cargo companion - which recently arrived at NASA's Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Ohio. The spacecraft is undergoing a comprehensive testing campaign to ensure it can withstand the rigor of launch and the challenging conditions of space as it's readied for its inaugural mission to resupply the International Space Station.
Sierra Space Shooting Star™ Cargo Module Initiates Rigorous Testing at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test FacilityNOVEMBER 30, 2023| NEWSTesting at the NASA facility in Ohio will ensure the spacecraft can withstand the rigor of launch and the harsh environment of spaceLOUISVILLE, Colo. – Nov. 30, 2023 – Sierra Space, a leading pureplay commercial space company building the first end-to-end business and technology platform in space, announced today the commencement of a comprehensive testing campaign for the Shooting Star™ cargo module at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio. This pivotal phase of testing aims to validate the spacecraft’s resilience to the demands of launch and the challenging conditions of space as Shooting Star is readied for its inaugural mission to the International Space Station.Sierra Space remains committed to ensuring the utmost reliability of its cutting-edge technologies. The Sierra Space Shooting Star cargo module, designed in tandem with the revolutionary Dream Chaser® spaceplane, is set to redefine cargo capabilities, power and propulsion systems in space.“This transformative Sierra Space technology will define the next era of space commercialization,” said Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice. “As we embark on this journey to build a platform in space to benefit life on Earth, our commitment to innovation, reliability and sustainability remains unwavering and is exemplified in our Shooting Star cargo module.”Key Features of the Shooting Star Cargo Module:Operates seamlessly with the Dream Chaser® spaceplaneInternal cargo capacity of 7,000 pounds, complemented by three external mounting pointsScheduled NASA resupply missions for the International Space Station beginning in 2024Compatibility with a diverse range of current and future launch vehiclesCommercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) Cargo Services for NASA:The Shooting Star cargo module is slated to transport critical science, food and cargo to the International Space Station under a NASA Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contract. Accessible via the aft hatch, crews can seamlessly navigate through the module to the Dream Chaser, creating an efficient process for cargo placement and astronaut operations.Disposal Services:In an environmentally conscious approach, the Shooting Star offers cargo disposal services, ensuring the safe incineration of the module in Earth’s atmosphere post-separation from the Dream Chaser. This sustainable practice aligns with Sierra Space Corporation’s commitment to responsible space commercialization.NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility:NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility is part of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Located on 6,400 acres in Sandusky, Ohio, it is home to some of the world’s largest and most capable space simulation test facilities, where ground tests are conducted for the U.S. and international space and aeronautics communities.Following the Shooting Star, the first Sierra Space Dream Chaser spaceplane has also arrived at the Neil Armstrong Test Facility. The two vehicles will be stacked in launch configuration and undergo rigorous environmental testing starting in the Mechanical Vibration Facility, subjecting them to the extreme conditions of launch vibrations on the world’s most powerful spacecraft shaker table.