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Crucial milestone accomplished for Dream Chaser

                                                                                                                                                                  NASA photograph

Following its free flight, Sierra Nevada Corp’s Dream Chaser rolls out on the runway at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

   Sierra Nevada Corp.’s Dream Chaser space-         ed at the end of a cable. The lifting-body, winged   this test will pave the way for future landings for  flight that will occur after re-entry from an or-
craft recently glided to a successful landing at     spacecraft had all the same outer mold line speci-   the International Space Station missions.”           bital mission.”
NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center lo-          fications as a flight-ready vehicle. A lifting body
cated at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.              is a fixed-wing aircraft or spacecraft shaped so        The current tests are helping Sierra Nevada          The spacecraft arrived at Armstrong on Jan.
                                                     that the vehicle body itself produces lift.          Corp. validate the aerodynamic properties, flight    25. Evaluations included a series of tests, includ-
   Completion of Dream Chaser’s free flight test                                                          software and control system performance of the       ing successful captive carry tests where Dream
on Nov. 11, 2017, was a major milestone under a         After release, Dream Chaser glided on its own     Dream Chaser under the Commercial Crew Inte-         Chaser test vehicle was carried over the Califor-
space act agreement with NASA’s Commercial           and landed in a manner similar to NASA’s space       grated Capability Contract, or CCiCap, for com-      nia desert by the heavy-lift helicopter clearing
Crew Program.                                        shuttles.                                            mercial crew.                                        the way for the recent release and free flight.

   NASA selected Sierra Nevada Corp., along             “It is very exciting that Sierra Nevada Cor-         “This test represents the culmination of many        “We had an outstanding free flight test and are
with Orbital ATK and SpaceX, for the agency’s        poration successfully completed this important       years of work by the Sierra Nevada team in de-       very grateful to both our SNC team and NASA
second commercial resupply contracts to deliver      free-flight test,” said Steve Stich, deputy man-     veloping a lifting body spacecraft with the capa-    for getting us here,” said Steve Lindsey, vice
critical science, research and technology demon-     ager NASA Commercial Crew Program. “The              bility of performing both crewed and uncrewed        president, Sierra Nevada Corp.’s Space Explo-
strations to the International Space Station from    Dream Chaser team has done an amazing job            cargo carrying missions to the space station,”       ration Systems. “We are excited to complete this
2019 to 2024.                                        preparing for and executing this test and the        said Mike Lee, NASA Commercial Crew Pro-             critical milestone and can’t wait to move forward
                                                     Commercial Crew Program has been with them           gram space act agreement partner manager. “It        with the program. This fully successful Dream
   For the free flight test, a Columbia Helicopters  along the way. The Flight computers and avion-       was a significant achievement that successfully
model 234-UT heavy-lift helicopter carried aloft     ics systems are the same as the orbital vehicle so   demonstrated the final phase of atmospheric                               See ARMSTRONG, Page 2
an uncrewed Dream Chaser test article, suspend-

November 17, 2017 • Volume 31, Issue 20              Serving the aerospace industry since 1986                                 Use your smartphone to connect to
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