Sierra Nevada Corporation The Dream Chaser space plan passed another milestone in its development to be the third commercial freight for ISS.
March 24, 2019
The Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser cargo space recently moved a new milestone in its development to be the third commercial freight carrier for the International Space Station.
According to the Nevada-based company, Dream Chaser, which has evolved in one form or another for more than a decade, NASA's Integrated Review passed Milestone 5 (IR5), which is basically a status check of the execution of a number of ground and flight operations prior to the spacecraft's first resupply assignment according to the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract.
"This milestone is an excellent achievement for the team that focuses on operational development and demonstration," John Curry, CRS-2 program manager at SNC's Space Systems business area, said in a March 21, 2019, business news. "It shows that we can drive Dream Chaser off the ground, including getting critical science in and out of the vehicle."
Dream Chaser is a space plan based in part on the design of NASA's HL-20 lifting body concept studied as a crew transport vehicle for Space Station Freedom, a 1980s space station design developed for the International Space Station. It would be about 30 meters long and sporty wings.
In the Sierra Nevada Corporation version of the vehicle, it was originally intended to carry up to seven people to the ISS as it competed under NASA's commercial staff development program. But in 2014 the design was ultimately not chosen primarily because of "lack of maturity", according to Aviation Week at that time. The Space Agency instead chose SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft, which are expected to make their first crew traffic already in the second half of 2019.
Sierra Nevada Corporation at that time began drip testing of the spacecraft prototype. The first slide, which took place at Edwards Air Force Base in California, worked well, saving for a fixed landing gear at the end of the flight, which led to the test article crossing over.
The company said the test was a success despite the landing gear, which was not the design that would be used for the space-ready version it was taken from a military jet.
After the NASA selection, the company continued its development and was looking for supporters and organizations to use the manned version, including a European company and the UN.
However, it was NASA's choice of a cargo variant of the design, called the Dream Chaser Cargo System, which finally breathed new life into the program in January 2016.
The cargo ship is essentially the car body's spacecraft, with foldable wings that fit into a rocket with a 16.5 foot (5 meter) payload and a small disposable module on the back of the vehicle that could carry pressurized and unpressurized loads.
This cargo module would also hold solar collectors to increase flight time in space and support-driven payloads, says Sierra Nevada Corporation.
In total, the design is planned to deliver up to 12 100 kg (5 500 kg) pressure and pressure-free load. 19659008] Critically, it can also return cargo to a flight path. The load module would be placed with all unnecessary equipment before it resumed.
The spacecraft is designed to launch at a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket or an Ariane 5 Ariane 5 rocket. However, it is likely that the ULA's Vulcan rocket, designed to replace Atlas V, could support Dream Chaser flights as well.
In the end, every space plan hopes to be used 15 or more times, with a future crew variant flying at least 25 times.
For IR5, the company said that NASA's review included the development of spacecraft's flight computers and software, its mission simulator and mission control center and demonstrations using high-fidelity mockups of the vehicle and the unpressurized cargo module.
The review took place at the Sierra Nevada Corporation's Louisville, Colorado facility and at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Data was also used from 2017 free flight test, even at Edwards Air Force Base. The landscape worked as designed for that landing.
"Our dream law continues to successfully implement milestones as we move closer to getting the spacecraft to space," said Fatih Ozmen, SNC's owner and CEO, on March 21, 2019, the company's statement. "The orbital spacecraft is being built and this milestone shows that the vehicle continues to transmit key reviews and make great progress."
According to the Sierra Nevada Corporation, Dream Chaser is expected to make its first test flight in the spring of 2021 and carry out at least six orbital flights to and from the International Space Station to deliver and return deliveries and experiments.
During the CRS-2 contract, SpaceX's Dragon capsule, Northrop Grumman's Cygnus spacecraft and Dream Chaser are expected to fly at least six launches each with a maximum potential value totaling $ 14 billion.
CRS-2 is a follow-up to the CRS-1 contract, which had its first operational flight of SpaceX in October 2012. The first operational flight with Cygnus was in January 2014.  The first CRS-2 flights from Northrop Grumman and SpaceX are expected in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The contract is expected to run at least 2024.
Video courtesy of Sierra Nevada Corporation
Derek Richardson graduated in mass media, with emphasis on modern journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. During Washburn, he was managing editor of Student Run Newspaper, Washburn Review. He also has a blog about the International Space Station, called Orbital Velocity. He met members of the SpaceFlight Insider team during the flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket with the MUOS-4 satellite. Richardson joined our team shortly thereafter.
His passion for space ignited when he saw the Space Shuttle Discovery launch in space on October 29, 1998. Today, this fervor has accelerated toward orbit and shows no signs of slowing down. After becoming mathematics and engineering courses in college, he soon showed that his true call communicated with others about space. Since joining SpaceFlight Insider in 2015, Richardson has worked to increase the quality of our content and eventually become our management editor. @TheSpaceWriter