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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => SNC Dream Chaser Section => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 11/24/2017 06:52 pm

Title: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/24/2017 06:52 pm
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/11/dream-chaser-test-prepares-orbital-flights/

By Chris Gebhardt

Epic Uncrewed Dream Chaser L2 Renders - including the lead render - via NSF's Nathan Koga
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Coastal Ron on 11/24/2017 07:44 pm
Great article about my favorite upcoming VTHL spacecraft.

One popular question has been why Sierra Nevada didn't go with SpaceX for launching the Dream Chaser, but in looking at the picture of the spacecraft mounted inside of the Atlas V payload fairing it sure looks like the standard Falcon 9 payload fairing would not be tall enough for the Dream Chaser launch configuration. Can anyone confirm that?

On Wikipedia they reference a length of 6.9m, but that is just for the vehicle. The launch stack would also include the expendable cargo portion, which as the solar panels (and is jettisoned in space before return to Earth). Falcon 9 has a total payload length of 11m, but only 6.7m at the full diameter, so the standard fairing appears to be too short for Dream Chaser Cargo.

Nice to be seeing progress!
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: yg1968 on 11/24/2017 09:02 pm
We had the discussions previously and a number of people agreed that the current Falcon 9 fairing isn't tall enough for cargo DC. There was talk a while ago (in the 2013 Bigelow report) that the FH would have an option for a taller fairing. But we haven't heard of this taller fairing since that time (4 years ago).

During the presser someone asked if DC was committed to Atlas V (and Vulcan) for the entire CRS2 contract. SNC said that they had only commited themselves for the early flights (the first two flights will be on an Atlas V) and Sirangelo then added that DC was LV agnostic and that a decision had not yet been made for the later flights.

https://www.space.com/37636-dream-chaser-space-plane-on-atlas-v-rockets.html
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Markstark on 11/24/2017 09:18 pm
Great article. I had no clue they were doing Dream Chaser work at MAF.

Minor typo here "However, unlike a traditional CDR, which is when actual production would being, SNC is already well into the build for various elements of the first orbital Dream Chaser."

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: yg1968 on 11/24/2017 09:18 pm
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/11/dream-chaser-test-prepares-orbital-flights/

By Chris Gebhardt

Epic Uncrewed Dream Chaser L2 Renders - including the lead render - via NSF's Nathan Koga

Good article with lots of détails. Just the way we like it (on NSF)!
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/24/2017 11:31 pm
Great article. I had no clue they were doing Dream Chaser work at MAF.

Minor typo here "However, unlike a traditional CDR, which is when actual production would being, SNC is already well into the build for various elements of the first orbital Dream Chaser."

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
Welcome to the forum! :)
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/24/2017 11:38 pm
Thanks for the meaty article Chris G and the awesome renders by Nathan! 8) With some of the updates to Dream Chaser I wouldn't mind knowing what percentage the vehicle is toward a potential crewed version...
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: JAFO on 11/25/2017 12:09 am
So no more ALT tests, or TBD?
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Coastal Ron on 11/25/2017 12:26 am
Great article. I had no clue they were doing Dream Chaser work at MAF.

Lockheed Martin is building the next Dream Chaser composite structure at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF).  Here is the press release:

Sierra Nevada Corporation and Lockheed Martin Expand Dream Chaser Orbital Vehicle Manufacturing (https://www.sncorp.com/press-releases/snc-dc-lockheed/)
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Markstark on 11/25/2017 12:54 am
Great article. I had no clue they were doing Dream Chaser work at MAF.

Lockheed Martin is building the next Dream Chaser composite structure at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF).  Here is the press release:

Sierra Nevada Corporation and Lockheed Martin Expand Dream Chaser Orbital Vehicle Manufacturing (https://www.sncorp.com/press-releases/snc-dc-lockheed/)
Very cool thanks! Glad there will be additional uses of the MAF facilities.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/25/2017 01:39 am
So no more ALT tests, or TBD?
None planned, next stop space! 8)
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Lars-J on 11/25/2017 05:59 am
So no more ALT tests, or TBD?
None planned, next stop space! 8)

In any other industry, they would be laughed out of the room for declaring success after just one successful test...
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/25/2017 11:07 am
So no more ALT tests, or TBD?
None planned, next stop space! 8)

In any other industry, they would be laughed out of the room for declaring success after just one successful test...
Take it up with NASA pal...
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: rayleighscatter on 11/25/2017 01:19 pm
So no more ALT tests, or TBD?
None planned, next stop space! 8)

In any other industry, they would be laughed out of the room for declaring success after just one successful test...
That sounds more like a complaint that should be brought up in regards to commercial crew providers. Unless we're putting experiments above lives.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: su27k on 11/26/2017 02:46 am
So no more ALT tests, or TBD?
None planned, next stop space! 8)

In any other industry, they would be laughed out of the room for declaring success after just one successful test...
That sounds more like a complaint that should be brought up in regards to commercial crew providers. Unless we're putting experiments above lives.

Commercial crew has way more tests than this, NASA added 6 parachute tests for each provider, that's on top of however many tests the providers originally planned.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: rayleighscatter on 11/26/2017 01:15 pm

Commercial crew has way more tests than this, NASA added 6 parachute tests for each provider, that's on top of however many tests the providers originally planned.
Not to mention that extensive battery of inflight abort scenarios they'll test... Well one of them anyway... for the provider that's even doing one.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/26/2017 01:50 pm
Some folks just wish to believe that SNC pulled Dream Chaser out of their backside and if they did their research before they comment would realize that this is a follow-on program to the extensive design and testing performed by NASA on the HL-20.
https://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/crgis/images/4/43/1992-04_HL-20_Model_for_Personnel_Launch_Systm_Research.pdf
https://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/HL-20

Full scale wind tunnel testing:
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Jim on 11/26/2017 03:40 pm
So no more ALT tests, or TBD?
None planned, next stop space! 8)

In any other industry, they would be laughed out of the room for declaring success after just one successful test...

Different risk postures and different production rates
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Lee Jay on 11/26/2017 04:03 pm
So no more ALT tests, or TBD?
None planned, next stop space! 8)

In any other industry, they would be laughed out of the room for declaring success after just one successful test...

Two successful tests, not one.

And didn't SpaceX do just one drop test of cargo Dragon?  I can't find another one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq7LgVX-Jdk
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Lars-J on 11/26/2017 06:58 pm
So no more ALT tests, or TBD?
None planned, next stop space! 8)

In any other industry, they would be laughed out of the room for declaring success after just one successful test...

Two successful tests, not one.

And didn't SpaceX do just one drop test of cargo Dragon?  I can't find another one.

I think you are correct (for Cargo Dragon), but I did't say SpaceX was better in this particular instance, did I?  :) It was just a general observation.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Todd Martin on 11/27/2017 12:17 am
The dream of a crewed flight on Dreamchaser is still a goal of SNC.  There must be a substantial number of common parts between the cargo variant and the crew variant.  To take advantage of volume pricing, I wonder if SNC is stocking any common components for a crew variant while building the two cargo versions.  Being willing to inventory such items would help "buy down" the initial investment needed.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/27/2017 01:07 pm
We're going to be entertained by different sights and landing sounds as the new spacecraft return from space. The Dragon's "splash" (was hoping for a roar), the CST-100 "splat" and Dream Chaser's "double sonic boom followed by the screech"... Interesting times in my book... 8)
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: yg1968 on 11/27/2017 02:16 pm
The dream of a crewed flight on Dreamchaser is still a goal of SNC.  There must be a substantial number of common parts between the cargo variant and the crew variant.  To take advantage of volume pricing, I wonder if SNC is stocking any common components for a crew variant while building the two cargo versions.  Being willing to inventory such items would help "buy down" the initial investment needed.

One thing that I have been wondering about is whether it would be possible to retrofit a cargo DC and make it into a crewed DC (if this retrofit were to happen, it would only be done once CRS2 is completed).
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: vt_hokie on 11/27/2017 02:41 pm

One thing that I have been wondering about is whether it would be possible to retrofit a cargo DC and make it into a crewed DC (if this retrofit were to happen, it would only be done once CRS2 is completed).

I highly doubt it, as I suspect some of the differences are inherent to the airframe itself.  I have also wondered how easily DC could be modified to become a crew return vehicle only.  No launch abort requirements, etc.  Ever since the demise of X-38/CRV I suppose I've been a believer that a lifting body direct to landing facility return vehicle makes a lot more sense as an assured crew return vehicle than a high G reentry, remote splashdown/touchdown capsule. 
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/27/2017 06:35 pm

One thing that I have been wondering about is whether it would be possible to retrofit a cargo DC and make it into a crewed DC (if this retrofit were to happen, it would only be done once CRS2 is completed).

I highly doubt it, as I suspect some of the differences are inherent to the airframe itself.  I have also wondered how easily DC could be modified to become a crew return vehicle only.  No launch abort requirements, etc.  Ever since the demise of X-38/CRV I suppose I've been a believer that a lifting body direct to landing facility return vehicle makes a lot more sense as an assured crew return vehicle than a high G reentry, remote splashdown/touchdown capsule.
I don't see why not with an ECLSS and a docking system, the de-orbit and landing system is already automated... Might be a good interim vehicle towards a future crewed launch vehicle...
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/27/2017 07:03 pm
One thing that I have been wondering about is whether it would be possible to retrofit a cargo DC and make it into a crewed DC (if this retrofit were to happen, it would only be done once CRS2 is completed).
Obviously depends on how different they are.

NASA say it's hugely difficult to turn a cargo vehicle in to a crewed return vehicle.

ECLSS is needed and apparently it has to be "docked" rather than berthed because there is no "unberth" mode that a vehicle can manage without the intervention of the arm (which no one would be aboard the station to operate in an evacuation) evne if it was equipped with the necessary fine guidance and RCS thrusters.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/27/2017 08:21 pm
One thing that I have been wondering about is whether it would be possible to retrofit a cargo DC and make it into a crewed DC (if this retrofit were to happen, it would only be done once CRS2 is completed).
Obviously depends on how different they are.

NASA say it's hugely difficult to turn a cargo vehicle in to a crewed return vehicle.

ECLSS is needed and apparently it has to be "docked" rather than berthed because there is no "unberth" mode that a vehicle can manage without the intervention of the arm (which no one would be aboard the station to operate in an evacuation) evne if it was equipped with the necessary fine guidance and RCS thrusters.
Mark Sirangelo at SNC is on record stating that they have the ability to produce a Dream Chaser in multiple configurations in which it is aided by being a composite structure... I see this as the way to go rather than a re-fit...
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: rayleighscatter on 11/27/2017 08:40 pm
The cargo version doesn't have windows, which would mean a converted crew version could only operate autonomously. And I wouldn't want to cut into an already flown composite body.

Production really isn't that expensive. It wouldn't really surprise me if the cost of new vs converted was nearly the same, or even cheaper.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: yg1968 on 11/28/2017 08:42 pm
One thing that I have been wondering about is whether it would be possible to retrofit a cargo DC and make it into a crewed DC (if this retrofit were to happen, it would only be done once CRS2 is completed).
Obviously depends on how different they are.

NASA say it's hugely difficult to turn a cargo vehicle in to a crewed return vehicle.

ECLSS is needed and apparently it has to be "docked" rather than berthed because there is no "unberth" mode that a vehicle can manage without the intervention of the arm (which no one would be aboard the station to operate in an evacuation) evne if it was equipped with the necessary fine guidance and RCS thrusters.

The cargo version can either be docked or berthed according to SNC. 
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: yg1968 on 11/28/2017 08:49 pm
The cargo version doesn't have windows, which would mean a converted crew version could only operate autonomously. And I wouldn't want to cut into an already flown composite body.

Production really isn't that expensive. It wouldn't really surprise me if the cost of new vs converted was nearly the same, or even cheaper.

I don't know if the windows are a requirement but I suppose that a periscope (or cameras) could also be used.

Sirangelo said (a while ago) that making a DC wasn't that expensive. So you are right about that. But I sort of wonder if you don't make the crewed DC right away, is that capability lost after a while?
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: rayleighscatter on 11/28/2017 08:57 pm
The cargo version doesn't have windows, which would mean a converted crew version could only operate autonomously. And I wouldn't want to cut into an already flown composite body.

Production really isn't that expensive. It wouldn't really surprise me if the cost of new vs converted was nearly the same, or even cheaper.

I don't know if the windows are a requirement but I suppose that a periscope (or cameras) could also be used.

Sirangelo said (a while ago) that making a DC wasn't that expensive. So you are right about that. But I sort of wonder if you don't make the crewed DC right away, is that capability lost after a while?

The knowledge will be lost over time as engineers retire or leave but the production methods are now common at many aerospace companies. It wouldn't be hard to farm out production of another craft.

I suppose the hybrid abort engines would be the most likely place to lose both knowledge and production ability.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: whitelancer64 on 11/28/2017 09:01 pm
The cargo version doesn't have windows, which would mean a converted crew version could only operate autonomously. And I wouldn't want to cut into an already flown composite body.

Production really isn't that expensive. It wouldn't really surprise me if the cost of new vs converted was nearly the same, or even cheaper.

I don't know if the windows are a requirement but I suppose that a periscope (or cameras) could also be used.

Sirangelo said (a while ago) that making a DC wasn't that expensive. So you are right about that. But I sort of wonder if you don't make the crewed DC right away, is that capability lost after a while?

The knowledge will be lost over time as engineers retire or leave but the production methods are now common at many aerospace companies. It wouldn't be hard to farm out production of another craft.

I suppose the hybrid abort engines would be the most likely place to lose both knowledge and production ability.

Sierra Nevada switched from hybrid engines to liquid fueled engines. The redesign and subsequent delay to their development program is one reason why they were not selected for the commercial crew contract.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/28/2017 09:31 pm
The cargo version doesn't have windows, which would mean a converted crew version could only operate autonomously. And I wouldn't want to cut into an already flown composite body.

Production really isn't that expensive. It wouldn't really surprise me if the cost of new vs converted was nearly the same, or even cheaper.

I don't know if the windows are a requirement but I suppose that a periscope (or cameras) could also be used.

Sirangelo said (a while ago) that making a DC wasn't that expensive. So you are right about that. But I sort of wonder if you don't make the crewed DC right away, is that capability lost after a while?
Docking was supposedly with hand controls and viewing though a window in the rear hatch IIRC for a crewed version...
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/28/2017 10:32 pm
The cargo version can either be docked or berthed according to SNC.
I did not know that. The whole berthed/docked thing seemed a very big thing in the cargo Vs Crew Dragon designs. IOW a big thing demarcating a cargo vehicle from a crew vehicle.

I don't know if the windows are a requirement but I suppose that a periscope (or cameras) could also be used.

Sirangelo said (a while ago) that making a DC wasn't that expensive. So you are right about that. But I sort of wonder if you don't make the crewed DC right away, is that capability lost after a while?
Good question. Another issue is how much such a craft is actually "piloted"

Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: JAFO on 11/28/2017 11:55 pm

I don't know if the windows are a requirement but I suppose that a periscope (or cameras) could also be used.

Sirangelo said (a while ago) that making a DC wasn't that expensive. So you are right about that. But I sort of wonder if you don't make the crewed DC right away, is that capability lost after a while?
Good question. Another issue is how much such a craft is actually "piloted"

As much or little as they design into it. Shuttle was not capable of autoland, Buran was fully autonomous. Heavy airliners can do fully automated CAT IIIb/Land 3 (0' vertical vis, 150' horizontal) approaches, I imagine that would be easy to build into Dream Chaser.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: yg1968 on 11/29/2017 12:21 am
The cargo version doesn't have windows, which would mean a converted crew version could only operate autonomously. And I wouldn't want to cut into an already flown composite body.

Production really isn't that expensive. It wouldn't really surprise me if the cost of new vs converted was nearly the same, or even cheaper.

I don't know if the windows are a requirement but I suppose that a periscope (or cameras) could also be used.

Sirangelo said (a while ago) that making a DC wasn't that expensive. So you are right about that. But I sort of wonder if you don't make the crewed DC right away, is that capability lost after a while?

Answering my own question but it seems that windows are a requirement for commercial crew:


Quote from: 2016 CCT-REQ-1130
3.8.4.4 Windows for Crew Tasks

The spacecraft shall provide windows that are available for use by the crew through all phases of
flight that provide direct, non-electronic, through-the-hull viewing and the unobstructed fields of-view
necessary to perform crew viewing tasks. [R.CTS.177]

Rationale: Windows provide direct, non-electronic, through-the-hull viewing and are
essential to mission safety and success, as well as to maintaining crew situational awareness
and psychological and physical health and safety. They do not have the failure modes
associated with cameras and display systems that may not be operable during emergencies
when most needed and are essential for piloting and photography. They also permit stellar
navigation, vehicle anomaly detection and inspection, and environmental and scientific
observations. NASA experience is that two piloting windows are required to achieve the field
of view necessary to accomplish the breadth of piloting tasks. Because of the criticality of
windows to crew safety and success of the mission, windows must be a part of the spacecraft
design and available through all flight phases without obstructions to their use. Fixed
equipment, such as window instrumentation, hardware, or a condensation prevention system,
that would obstruct or obscure the field-of-view of the window from the normal crew viewing
position will interfere with crew tasks and must not be placed within the sight lines through
the window; however, the following are not considered obstructions: hardware used in
conjunction with piloting, such as a head's up display (HUD), crew optical alignment system
(COAS), or other similar equipment; the outer mold line and hull structure of the vehicle
itself; other windows and window mullions; and instrumentation applied to the window itself
within 13 mm (~0.5 in.) of the perimeter of the clear viewing area. For detailed design
considerations for inboard and outboard window view obscuration exclusion zones, consult
Sections 8.6.3.3 and 8.6.3.4 in NASA/SP-2010-3407, Human Integration Design Handbook
(HIDH), which also provides extensive guidance for window design considerations.

Quote from: 2016 CCT-REQ-1130
3.10.14.2 Hatch Windows

The CTS shall provide a window on all sealable hatches for direct non-electric visual observation
of the environment on the opposite side of the hatch. [R.CTS.174]

Rationale: Direct visual observation of the environment on the opposite side of a hatch
allows the crew to determine the conditions or obstructions, such as the presence of fire or
debris, on the other side of the hatch for safety purposes. Visibility is also needed for ground
crew viewing into the vehicle during pad operations and post-landing. Windows do not have
the failure modes associated with cameras and display systems that may not be operable
during emergencies when most needed.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26489.msg1650808#msg1650808
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/29/2017 01:12 am

I don't know if the windows are a requirement but I suppose that a periscope (or cameras) could also be used.

Sirangelo said (a while ago) that making a DC wasn't that expensive. So you are right about that. But I sort of wonder if you don't make the crewed DC right away, is that capability lost after a while?
Good question. Another issue is how much such a craft is actually "piloted"

As much or little as they design into it. Shuttle was not capable of autoland, Buran was fully autonomous. Heavy airliners can do fully automated CAT IIIb/Land 3 (0' vertical vis, 150' horizontal) approaches, I imagine that would be easy to build into Dream Chaser.
Slight correction, the Shuttle was capable but never fully utilized... Except for the gear which you had to deploy... From out friend Wayne Hale:
https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/breaking-through/
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: JAFO on 11/29/2017 10:03 am

I don't know if the windows are a requirement but I suppose that a periscope (or cameras) could also be used.

Sirangelo said (a while ago) that making a DC wasn't that expensive. So you are right about that. But I sort of wonder if you don't make the crewed DC right away, is that capability lost after a while?
Good question. Another issue is how much such a craft is actually "piloted"

As much or little as they design into it. Shuttle was not capable of autoland, Buran was fully autonomous. Heavy airliners can do fully automated CAT IIIb/Land 3 (0' vertical vis, 150' horizontal) approaches, I imagine that would be easy to build into Dream Chaser.
Slight correction, the Shuttle was capable but never fully utilized... Except for the gear which you had to deploy... From out friend Wayne Hale:
https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/breaking-through/ (https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/breaking-through/)


Fair enough. (We have to drop the gear ourselves, too.)
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/29/2017 11:07 am
As much or little as they design into it. Shuttle was not capable of autoland, Buran was fully autonomous. Heavy airliners can do fully automated CAT IIIb/Land 3 (0' vertical vis, 150' horizontal) approaches, I imagine that would be easy to build into Dream Chaser.
You missed the X37b. AFAIK all its landings are autonomous.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: nacnud on 11/29/2017 11:57 am
As much or little as they design into it. Shuttle was not capable of autoland, Buran was fully autonomous. Heavy airliners can do fully automated CAT IIIb/Land 3 (0' vertical vis, 150' horizontal) approaches, I imagine that would be easy to build into Dream Chaser.
You missed the X37b. AFAIK all its landings are autonomous.
I think that is a safe bet, unless the airforce is keeping very quiet about its alternative manned program.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 11/29/2017 01:59 pm
Wouldn't need people on board to be non-autonomous. Approach and landing could theoretically be remote controlled, and would still be non-autonomous.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: nacnud on 11/29/2017 02:03 pm
True, but I was playing it for giggles and imagining an extremely bored airman stuck on the X-37b
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/29/2017 02:09 pm

I don't know if the windows are a requirement but I suppose that a periscope (or cameras) could also be used.

Sirangelo said (a while ago) that making a DC wasn't that expensive. So you are right about that. But I sort of wonder if you don't make the crewed DC right away, is that capability lost after a while?
Good question. Another issue is how much such a craft is actually "piloted"

As much or little as they design into it. Shuttle was not capable of autoland, Buran was fully autonomous. Heavy airliners can do fully automated CAT IIIb/Land 3 (0' vertical vis, 150' horizontal) approaches, I imagine that would be easy to build into Dream Chaser.
Slight correction, the Shuttle was capable but never fully utilized... Except for the gear which you had to deploy... From out friend Wayne Hale:
https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/breaking-through/ (https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/breaking-through/)


Fair enough. (We have to drop the gear ourselves, too.)
Nice to know one can be replaced by a relay and a software update... ;D
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: BrightLight on 11/29/2017 05:49 pm
Dream Chaser CCP accomplishments from:
https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/nac-heoc
› Commercial Crew and Launch Readiness Process - Ms. Lisa Colloredo
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/29/2017 08:50 pm
Nice to know one can be replaced by a relay and a software update... ;D
As with all IT  systems when you have 2 units with a data link between them if you can make another unit that mimics one of them then you can replace that unit with your own.

And the Shuttle flight system was always one where the Pilot asked the flight computer to make a change of course.

Doing it with adequate reliability  (which for civilian blind land is 1 in 1x10^9 operating hours) is the tough part.
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/29/2017 10:00 pm
Nice to know one can be replaced by a relay and a software update... ;D
As with all IT  systems when you have 2 units with a data link between them if you can make another unit that mimics one of them then you can replace that unit with your own.

And the Shuttle flight system was always one where the Pilot asked the flight computer to make a change of course.

Doing it with adequate reliability  (which for civilian blind land is 1 in 1x10^9 operating hours) is the tough part.
It was a "quip"... :D
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: ejb749 on 11/29/2017 10:30 pm
Actually, in the Shuttle, the Pilot sat right seat, and the Commander sat left and actually did the flying.
So the pilot could ask the Commander to ask the flight computer....
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/01/2017 07:31 pm
Do we have any details on the orbital cargo module? Construction, materials, in-house or out-sourced?
Title: Re: Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights
Post by: Norm38 on 12/04/2017 04:14 am
So no more ALT tests, or TBD?
None planned, next stop space! 8)

In any other industry, they would be laughed out of the room for declaring success after just one successful test...

I don’t understand this comment. In every industry, it’s not about declaring complete success, but about clearing the project to proceed to more extensive testing.

With as many things as can go wrong in space flight, what’s the point of practicing the landing again?
After the next test vehicle (hopefully) makes it through launch, orbit and reentry, the landing test is free! If the landing test fails, all other tests succeeded. If an earlier test fails, it won’t be landing anyway. So why worry?