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SNC’s Dream Chaser Moves Toward Phase Two Flight Testing

By | August 1, 2016
      Dream Chaser SNC

      SNC’s Dream Chaser spacecraft. Photo: SNC

      [Via Satellite 08-01-2016] Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced that its Dream Chaser full-scale flight test vehicle is ready for transportation to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) in California for Phase Two flight tests in coordination with Edwards Air Force Base (AFB). Upon arrival, SNC will begin a series of pre-flight ground evaluations to verify and validate the vehicle’s system and subsystem designs. After successful completion of all ground testing, Dream Chaser will begin its Phase Two free-flight testing. SNC is conducting these activities through a Space Act Agreement with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP).

      SNC completed program upgrades and initial hardware testing with Dream Chaser at the Louisville, Colorado spacecraft assembly facility. Within the next several weeks, the same Dream Chaser vehicle that conducted Phase One flight testing will arrive at NASA’s AFRC. There, the vehicle will undergo a series of tests building on those performed in Phase One, including tow-tests, pre-flight tests and ending with free-flight testing. SNC is also performing additional tests to validate the Dream Chaser’s orbital flight software and calculate the spacecraft’s handling and performance characteristics. Along with other pre-flight and post-flight evaluations, this data will be used to confirm Dream Chaser’s subsonic aerodynamic properties as well as flight software and control system performance requirements. Additionally, the Phase Two flight test efforts will be highly supportive of, and executed in parallel with SNC’s work for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS 2) program.