Author Topic: SNC outline Dream Chaser's Enterprise-style landing test approach  (Read 35490 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/06/snc-dream-chasers-enterprise-test-approach/

Really, really enjoying writing these up. Again thanks to Lee Jay for carrying out the interview for this latest series of content (full resources in L2).

Another article to come in this series.

Offline Lars_J

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Great article - I look forward to seeing this bird fly. :)

Offline Helodriver

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Has it been determined if the vertical stabilizer is movable?

Offline Zachstar

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Thanks for the article!

If I had to pick. I would consider this a STRONG #2 for crew to the ISS. Yet I very much worry of what will happen if they get reduced funding in the #3 slot. The lack of funding is already pushing manned flights back by years and I wonder if any of these smaller companies can seriously say "no worries we can wait" for a flight chance and funding after SpaceX and Boeing.

If that happens it ought to be made into a movie. Oldspace Spacecraft and systems astronomically overbudget while newer companies meeting EVERY objective on time despite reduced chances getting the boot because congress thinks 300M is better spent elsewhere. I would say that is surprising but this is congress we are talking about.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2012 10:45 AM by Zachstar »

Offline Chris Bergin

Great article - I look forward to seeing this bird fly. :)

Thanks!

And thread trimmed after being derailed into a complete unrelated BEO discussion.

Offline Prober

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Great article - I look forward to seeing this bird fly. :)

Yes, sounds like a well thought out test program.

"The test plan also progresses towards the use Dream Chaserís hybrid motors, for the purpose of expanding the flight envelope both faster and higher, during the later stages of testing."



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Offline Zachstar

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I agree. And as the motors are designed for very routine suborbital flights on the SS2 the cost to do it should be small compared to the extra data it gains.

That is why I think they are deserving of the #2 slot. Even tho most likely that spot will go to Boeing. :(

Offline BrightLight

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Great article Chris - Thanks for your hard work.
How long will the ALT test program last.
How fast will the DC go with its rockets
How high will she get.
looking forward to seeing the resurgence of dynamic test programs at Edwards again :D

Offline Lee Jay

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How long will the ALT test program last.
How fast will the DC go with its rockets
How high will she get.

I asked all those questions.  For the first, they weren't sure because it would depend on how things went, sort of like SpaceX and C2/C3/C2+.  For the second two, they weren't ready to share that information yet, but they did point out that the engines are quite powerful and so they could expand the envelope significantly compared to a free drop.

Offline Lurker Steve

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What exactly is the challenge with tires in space ?

I assume they aren't inflatable tires, but one solid piece of rubber-like material. I can understand the issues with handling a gas-filled tire in space. Too much expansion / contraction with the pressure changes.

Is the problem with a "steer-able" wheel, where the steering mechanism might freeze up , and that doesn't happen with the rear wheels that are only expected to roll in a fixed direction ?

Offline BrightLight

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How long will the ALT test program last.
How fast will the DC go with its rockets
How high will she get.

I asked all those questions.  For the first, they weren't sure because it would depend on how things went, sort of like SpaceX and C2/C3/C2+.  For the second two, they weren't ready to share that information yet, but they did point out that the engines are quite powerful and so they could expand the envelope significantly compared to a free drop.
Thanks Lee Jay. FWIW - you are a generous person, thanks again.

Offline FinalFrontier

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http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/06/snc-dream-chasers-enterprise-test-approach/

Really, really enjoying writing these up. Again thanks to Lee Jay for carrying out the interview for this latest series of content (full resources in L2).

Another article to come in this series.

Thanks for the article Chris.
3-30-2017: The start of a great future
"Live Long and Prosper"

Offline BrightLight

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What exactly is the challenge with tires in space ?

I assume they aren't inflatable tires, but one solid piece of rubber-like material. I can understand the issues with handling a gas-filled tire in space. Too much expansion / contraction with the pressure changes.

Is the problem with a "steer-able" wheel, where the steering mechanism might freeze up , and that doesn't happen with the rear wheels that are only expected to roll in a fixed direction ?

I've been wondering this myself - I can see that a skid is more thermally benign, uses less volume stored, simple to replace. Are these real issues- the Shuttle, SR-71, xb-70 all had difficult thermal conditions up front bujt clearly were solved. Both the SR-71 and the Shuttle had early problems with tires/struts but this technology has been available for decades.

Offline Go4TLI

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What exactly is the challenge with tires in space ?

I assume they aren't inflatable tires, but one solid piece of rubber-like material. I can understand the issues with handling a gas-filled tire in space. Too much expansion / contraction with the pressure changes.

Is the problem with a "steer-able" wheel, where the steering mechanism might freeze up , and that doesn't happen with the rear wheels that are only expected to roll in a fixed direction ?


Given the thermal environment and ranges it sees the tire pressures have to monitored appropriately.  In addition, in order to keep the tires healthy this could be a driver from a thermal perspective.  And given this vehicle projected length of stay on orbit it is easier if one tire can be removed, especially when it is in a different zone of the vehicle.

Offline brihath

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Great article Chris! 

I would be interested in learning how close the DC flight test version is to the orbital version.  It looks like it doesn't have TPS installed, but what else is not installed that is required for the orbital version?  Perhaps that could be covered in a future article?

Online Thorny

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The first X-37B spent longer than Dream Chaser will in space, and the second will be over twice as long in space. Is there any sharing of information about tires between the two projects?

Offline brihath

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What exactly is the challenge with tires in space ?

I assume they aren't inflatable tires, but one solid piece of rubber-like material. I can understand the issues with handling a gas-filled tire in space. Too much expansion / contraction with the pressure changes.

Is the problem with a "steer-able" wheel, where the steering mechanism might freeze up , and that doesn't happen with the rear wheels that are only expected to roll in a fixed direction ?


Given the thermal environment and ranges it sees the tire pressures have to monitored appropriately.  In addition, in order to keep the tires healthy this could be a driver from a thermal perspective.  And given this vehicle projected length of stay on orbit it is easier if one tire can be removed, especially when it is in a different zone of the vehicle.

I understand there may be a challenge there, but hasn't that already been tested in the X-37?  Does it have a nose skid or a tire?

Offline Go4TLI

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What exactly is the challenge with tires in space ?

I assume they aren't inflatable tires, but one solid piece of rubber-like material. I can understand the issues with handling a gas-filled tire in space. Too much expansion / contraction with the pressure changes.

Is the problem with a "steer-able" wheel, where the steering mechanism might freeze up , and that doesn't happen with the rear wheels that are only expected to roll in a fixed direction ?


Given the thermal environment and ranges it sees the tire pressures have to monitored appropriately.  In addition, in order to keep the tires healthy this could be a driver from a thermal perspective.  And given this vehicle projected length of stay on orbit it is easier if one tire can be removed, especially when it is in a different zone of the vehicle.

I understand there may be a challenge there, but hasn't that already been tested in the X-37?  Does it have a nose skid or a tire?

It definitely has tires for the mains, and maybe nose too.  However, that is a free flying vehicle and therefore the thermal constraints are much easier to manage

Offline Rocket Science

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From the history of flights from the series of lifting bodies a safe prediction will be the challenges in the flight control system. Fortunately with the power of modern computers and simulators will help ameliorate the situation...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Chris Bergin

Thanks guys! :) And yes, there's a lot more to cover. We have some of that already for the next article, but I need to speak to the good people at Aerojet (always very helpful) about the trusters to complete this next article.

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