Dream Chaser: engine tested, construction starts

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docm

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Is it me, or does that engine (center) look like a photon torpedo?

Link....

Press Release: October 11, 2010

Sierra Nevada Space Systems Successfully Competes Two
Major Nasa Human Space Flight Development Milestones

SNC fires hybrid rocket motor and begins production on Dream Chaser Vehicle


Louisville, CO – October 11, 2010 – The Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems Group announces the successful completion of two critical milestones for NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Program. On September 21, 2010, SNC completed three successful test firings of a single hybrid rocket motor in one day. SNC’s newly opened rocket test facility in San Diego County, California, hosted NASA personnel for a rocket motor manufacturing review as well as the motor firings, including one firing under vacuum ignition conditions. The tests, which simulated a complete nominal mission profile, demonstrated the multiple restart capability of SNC’s proprietary hybrid rocket motor. This same hybrid rocket will be used as the main propulsion system on the Dream Chaser during the orbital operations.

Earlier this summer, SNC completed its second major milestone. This milestone was focused on the development of the primary tooling necessary to build the composite structure of the Dream Chaser vehicle. The tooling required under the milestone has been completed and is now being used to begin fabrication of the first critical aeroshell structures which will be tested later this year. NASA conducted a thorough review of all the elements of the two milestones and has certified milestone completion with no corrective actions.

“The successful completion of these milestones illustrates the value of the partnership between the Sierra Nevada Corporation and NASA. SNC’s rapid hardware development capability, combined with NASA insight and assistance, has resulted in significant real progress on our Dream Chaser human spacecraft. I'm proud of the progress made by our industry/government team,” said Jim Voss, Vice President of SNC Space Exploration Systems. In early 2010, NASA announced that SNC was the winner of the largest CCDev Space Act Agreement aimed at advancing technology and reducing risk for a commercial human spacecraft.

Mark N. Sirangelo, SNC’s Corporate Vice President for Space Systems commented, “SNC has four major milestones under the CCDev 10 month program. All three of our completed milestones were finished on time and on budget. NASA conducted a thorough review of all the elements of the milestones and has certified milestone completion with no corrective actions. I’d like to thank all of our CCDev Dream Chaser team for this terrific accomplishment.”

The completion of these milestones build upon SNC’s long standing successful relationship with NASA. The Dream Chaser spacecraft is based on NASA’s HL-20 crew vehicle, with a strong development heritage. It will launch on an existing United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle, and will have on-board propulsion utilizing SNC’s proprietary hybrid motor technology. It is a piloted spacecraft which will be able to carry a crew of seven as well as critical cargo to the ISS and other low Earth orbit destinations, and return crew and fragile experiments to a runway landing. This combination of space heritage and proven technology will enable SNC’s unique space transportation system to effectively and reliably carry crew and cargo to low Earth orbit. SNC expects to work in full cooperation with NASA to ensure the highest degree of safety on all aspects of the program and on each mission.

SNC is the prime contractor for the Dream Chaser program and leads a team of experienced space companies working to build and begin to operate this orbital flight system by 2014. The SNC Space Systems Group was formed through the merger of three heritage space companies and has 20 years of space flight experience having participated successfully in over 300 space missions.
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

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The Atlas V being shown as the one used resembles an Atlas V 431 with 15MT to LEO capability and about $85-90 mil non-manrated price. This would mean that the Dream Chaser is too heavy to ride a Falcon 9. Using a manrated Atlas V would put the 6 available passenger seats minus the pilot at <$25 mil per seat, half the Soyuz $55 mil price. Space X Dragon per seat price would be <$20 mil per seat purely because of the cheaper booster.
 
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docm

Guest
The larger crossrange of a spaceplane is attractive for rescue etc.

NASA and Bigelow both say they want 2 rides for redundancy, but that doesn't mean they both have to pick the same two - we might end up with 3 spacecraft flying: CST-100, Dragon and Dream Chaser.
 
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Boris_Badenov

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Shouldn't this thread be merged into Sierra Nevada Updates?
 
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docm

Guest
Probably, but finding it from a cell phone proved highly irritating :p
 
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vulture3

Guest
Personally I feel the economics of hybrids in reusable systems are not good. The need to make and break a large pressure-tight high-temperature seal for each launch adds far more man-hours than refueling a a liquid propellant tank.
 
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SteveCNC

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vulture3":2rbqaef3 said:
Personally I feel the economics of hybrids in reusable systems are not good. The need to make and break a large pressure-tight high-temperature seal for each launch adds far more man-hours than refueling a a liquid propellant tank.
I've built these motors and it's really not that big of a deal to split one and put it back together , they were designed with that in mind in the front end . Yeah you replace the O-rings and rivets but that's not a big deal . Basically the same motor is running SS2 up to sub-orbital and will be reloaded several times before it reaches it's erosion limit but you want to take it apart every time for inspection reason anyway .

As for the pictures , the one on the left shows the motor , the one in the middle is part of the shell for Dream Chaser (the one you think looks like a photon torpedo) and the one on the right is an artists conception .
 
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docm

Guest
SteveCNC":qqc3cgm9 said:
>
As for the pictures , the one on the left shows the motor , the one in the middle is part of the shell for Dream Chaser (the one you think looks like a photon torpedo) and the one on the right is an artists conception .
Methinks that shell is the portion between the wing root and fuselage -





 
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neutrino78x

Guest
DreamChaser is very interesting because it resembles the Space Shuttle. :) I still would prefer if they and SpaceX would use H2 and O2 for propulsion, so it is "zero emission/green". :)

--Brian
 
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docm

Guest
LH2's green-ness depends on the source of energy used to produce it.
 
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neutrino78x

Guest
docm":2cy5hkqf said:
LH2's green-ness depends on the source of energy used to produce it.
Well, implied in my statement was that the H2 would be produced with green energy. :)

--Brian
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

Guest
To produce the hardware to then produce the "Green Energy" there is a carbon and toxic footprint. Though for the life of the equipment and total energy produced this footprint is significantly smaler than others, it is still not non-existent. The lowest carbon and toxic footprint I can think of is Solar Power Satelites built almost completely from Lunar materials. The ground segments would then be built using energy from the first and follow on rectennas with a resulting almost nonexistant footprint. Once you have done that then using any other source except possibly a water dam would not make sense. Electric companies like water dam derived power generation because they use them to handle peak loads because they can be started and stopped rapidly without any cost penalties. Your LH2 and Lox would be produced using this energy to then launch the remaining equipment and humans to support the SPS.
 
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