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Sierra Nevada Announces New Space Plans

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Sierra Nevada Corporation Announces New Space Plans for NASA's Kennedy Space Center

In the latest example of NASA Kennedy Space Center's transformation into a multi-user spaceport, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) of Louisville, Colo., announced Thursday steps it will take to prepare for a November 2016 orbital flight of its Dream Chaser spacecraft from Florida's Space Coast.

The announcement included the purchase of an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance (ULA) for the launch, sharing the Operations and Checkout (O&C) development and testing facility with Lockheed Martin Space Systems, establishing an operation center at Kennedy Space Center and using the former Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) runway at Kennedy. The steps are considered substantial for SNC and important to plans by NASA and Space Florida for Kennedy's new availability to both commercial and government customers.

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I initially thought this was sponsored by a brewery.

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It could happen.

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Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser® Highlight Video

This video summarizes the development, testing and manufacturing of America's next generation commercial crew vehicle, Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser spacecraft! SNC is working with NASA's Commercial Crew Program to develop an innovative, modern, flexible and highly-capable crew transportation system for the 21st Century. The DCSS provides the only reusable, lifting-body human-rated spacecraft with a commercial runway landing capability, anywhere in the world. The DCSS is on the forefront of the commercial human spaceflight industry, offering safe, reliable and cost-effective crew and critical cargo transportation to low-Earth orbit.

For information about SNC's Space Systems, including Dream Chaser, visit: http://www.SNCSpace.com

Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

Source: SNC Space Systems

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So this is like the Shuttle, no landing engines and only one chance at a safe landing? At least this vastly increases WHERE you can land, because I seem to remember a few missions where bad weather kept the Shuttle from its primary landing sites.

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Why don't they just break out the top secret space craft they have had for years, but just haven't made it known to the public, the government, and just about everyone else, there are black projects out there with highly advanced technology, they just don't want to go public with it because, well i'm not sure why, but we have the crafts for space travel, just highly top secret, but I guess we will have to wait on NASA.

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So this is like the Shuttle, no landing engines and only one chance at a safe landing? At least this vastly increases WHERE you can land, because I seem to remember a few missions where bad weather kept the Shuttle from its primary landing sites.

Takes a lot of fuel to get in orbit and fuel adds weight. Even Virgin Galactic uses a glider system for landing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipTwo

Why don't they just break out the top secret space craft they have had for years, but just haven't made it known to the public, the government, and just about everyone else, there are black projects out there with highly advanced technology, they just don't want to go public with it because, well i'm not sure why, but we have the crafts for space travel, just highly top secret, but I guess we will have to wait on NASA.

Which is why I don't think they really have one. Gravity is a harsh mistress.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaceplane

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Why the skid strip on the front landing gear instead of a steerable tire:

With a target a landing speed of 191 knots, Dream Chaser will touch down with its Main Landing Gear, before pitching the nose forward on to an inbuilt skid strip, as opposed to a Nose Landing Gear wheel.

Speaking of the rationale for opting to use a skid strip, SNC noted it is a simple, light, safe option. They also added that there had been some issues with the analysis of the performance of tires in the space environment and this eliminates one of the tires – with the other two tires easier to control than the nose wheel if there’s a problem with one of them.

SNC noted they do not expect any crosswind limitations from the skid

rest of article here: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/07/dream-chaser-nlg-skid-system-landing-tests/

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Oh. That is cool.

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So this is like the Shuttle, no landing engines and only one chance at a safe landing? At least this vastly increases WHERE you can land, because I seem to remember a few missions where bad weather kept the Shuttle from its primary landing sites.

Just like a helicopter in autorotation, the vehicle cannot go around. Obviously, the trajectory is tightly controlled, and they don't miss as long as the systems are working. :gun:

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