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Space & Astronomy

Dream Chaser completes successful glide test

By T.K. Randall
November 13, 2017 · Comment icon 19 comments



The Dream Chaser is shaping up to be an impressive vehicle. Image Credit: NASA / Ken Ulbrich
Sierra Nevada has announced that its Dream Chaser spaceplane has completed a critical free-flight test.
The impressive vehicle, which resembles a smaller version of NASA's space shuttles, was originally developed with manned spaceflight in mind but has since been earmarked to fly cargo runs to the International Space Station within the next few years.

This week private spaceflight company Sierra Nevada revealed that testing on the vehicle was going well and that on Saturday it completed a crucial free-flight test over the Mojave Desert.
The test, which was designed to demonstrate the Dream Chaser's landing capabilities, saw it glide gently down on to the runway after being lifted in to the air by a helicopter.

It is hoped that it will began carrying cargo up to the space station sometime in 2020.



Source: The Verge | Comments (19)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
It's bigger than you think. It's big enough to take 4 astronauts or 5 metric tonnes of payload to the ISS. This compares favorably with the SpaceX dragon which can transport 4 astronauts or 6 metric tonnes. Where Dream Chaser has the advantage is that a runway landing is much smoother than an ocean splash down and time critical samples can be retrieved almost immediately.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Jon the frog 5 years ago
Don't know what's the stalling speed of this bird, probably quite high ?
Comment icon #12 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
Is the next step a full space launch , orbit and re-entry if no design changes are required?
Comment icon #13 Posted by _KB_ 5 years ago
No i have, like i said, highschool physics... and math, lots of math, but as long as you just have a computer do the math then my computer can have the needed data ready in 2 max 3 days (it's not that it takes more than a couple hoursfor it to do the calculations but it'd just take me a couple days to make the code) ori could sketch up some rough designs that should function just fine after a little fine tuning right now, though i cant be sure of in which direction they went so i can't be certain that my solution is the same as theirs but regardless it's not even a weeks worth of work to fig... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
High school! Are we supposed to be impressed? Regardless, your education level is irrelevant when you have totally failed the grasp the problem, as you, rather spectacularly, have. The approach and landing tests are more than a test of whether the vehicle can glide, they are a test of the automated systems which will allow this vehicle to de-orbit, re-enter, fly to the landing area and make a precision landing on a runway. I'd like to see you design a vehicle that can do all that using only high school maths. They already know the vehicle can glide. This statemnet alone proves beyond a shadow ... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Essan 5 years ago
So you can do in 2 days what it has taken others years to achieve? You better get in touch with the team! Genius
Comment icon #16 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 5 years ago
Have you considered contacting companies like Ariane Space, United LaunchAllianceor Spaxe-X ? They must be willing to pay a fortune to hire someone of you amazing talent. Sergei Korolev and Wernher von Braun were just amateurs compared to you, afterall they spend years perfecting thier designs, instead of just days like you.
Comment icon #17 Posted by toast 5 years ago
You have forgotten Burt Rutan, Kelly Johnson, Artjom Mikojan and Michail Gurewitsch. You know, the idiots who claimed to have some knowledge about aerodynamics and such stuff. Ridiculous individuals, compared to ...
Comment icon #18 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
This is a light test article (FTA) so not actually planned for it to go into space. It will lack a heat shield and the life support, docking mechanism and other components necessary for an actual space mission. In that way it is similar the the space shuttle Enterprise which under took approach and landing tests (ALT) in the 1977. If NASA agrees with Sierra Nevada Corp, that this flight was a success then no further flight tests will be carried out, SNC will then concentrate on building the first of the cargo versions of the spacecraft. That differs slightly from this version. It has folding... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by Saru 5 years ago
- Thread cleaned - Let's keep things on-topic please. Thank you.


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