Dream Chaser Lands in Dryden for Flight Tests

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Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser flight vehicle arrived May 15 at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., where it will undergo tests of its flight and runway landing systems.

Louisville, Colo.-based Sierra Nevada Space Systems is one of three companies developing astronaut transportation systems under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.  Sierra Nevada said in a May 13 press release that it will conduct runway tow, ground resonance and captive flight tests on its lifting-body spacecraft. Sierra Nevada is developing Dream Chaser with $212.5 million in financial aid from NASA. If completed successfully, these tests, which are part of a single milestone under the company’s Space Act Agreement with NASA, are worth $15 million to Sierra Nevada.

Meanwhile, Sierra Nevada has also completed a so-called Integrated Systems Safety Analysis Review, NASA said in a May 10 press release. For that milestone, Sierra Nevada provided NASA with hazard reports and safety and reliability plans for the major components of the Dream Chaser system, including the craft’s integration with its planned carrier rocket, United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5, and flight and ground systems.

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