Dream Chaser for CEV requirement

View: https://twitter.com/SierraSpaceCo/status/1788995909738439011

Dream Chaser, aptly named for its tenacity, is the first of a planned fleet of spaceplanes. This pioneering spacecraft is scheduled for a 2024 launch, embarking on the first of seven missions to the @Space_Station
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@IntEngineering


 
NASA, Sierra Space Deliver Dream Chaser to Florida for Launch Preparation

As part of NASA’s efforts to expand commercial resupply in low Earth orbit, Sierra Space’s uncrewed spaceplane arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of its first flight to the International Space Station.

The Dream Chaser spaceplane, named Tenacity, arrived at Kennedy on May 18 inside a climate-controlled transportation container from NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio, and joined its companion Shooting Star cargo module, which arrived on May 11.

Before arriving at Kennedy, the spaceplane and its cargo module underwent vibration testing atop the world’s highest capacity and most powerful spacecraft shaker system inside the agency’s Space Environments Complex, exposing the stack to vibrations like those it will experience during launch and re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere. Following vibration testing, the duo moved to NASA’s In-Space Propulsion Facility and was exposed to low ambient pressures and temperatures ranging from -150 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Upon arrival at Kennedy, teams moved Dream Chaser Tenacity to the high bay inside the Space Systems Processing Facility, where it will undergo final testing and prelaunch processing ahead of its launch scheduled for later this year.

The spaceplane will lift off aboard a ULA (United Launch Alliance) Vulcan rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and is set to deliver 7,800 pounds of cargo to the orbiting laboratory.

The remaining pre-flight activities at Kennedy include acoustic and electromagnetic interference and compatibility testing, completion of work on the spaceplane’s thermal protection system, and final payload integration.

Dream Chaser is a lifting body design spaceplane that measures 30 feet long by 15 feet wide. The unique winged design allows it to transport cargo to and from low Earth orbit and maintain the ability to land on a runway in the style of NASA’s space shuttle. The 15-foot Shooting Star module can carry up to 7,000 pounds of cargo internally and features three unpressurized external payload mounts.

The partially reusable transportation system will perform at least seven cargo missions to the space station as part of the agency’s efforts to expand commercial resupply services in low Earth orbit. Future missions may last as long as 75 days and deliver as much as 11,500 pounds of cargo.

While the Dream Chaser spacecraft is reusable and can return up to 3,500 pounds of cargo to Earth, the Shooting Star module is designed to be jettisoned and burn up during reentry, creating the opportunity to dispose of up to 8,500 pounds of trash with each mission.

Dream Chaser Tenacity is the first in a planned fleet of Sierra Space spaceplanes to help carry out these missions.

As part of the process to certify the vehicle system for future agency resupply missions, NASA and Sierra Space will put the spaceplane through its paces once in-orbit. As Dream Chaser Tenacity approaches the space station, it will conduct a series of demonstrations to prove attitude control, translational maneuvers, and abort capabilities. After completing the maneuverability demonstration, space station astronauts will use the Canadarm2 robotic arm to grapple the spacecraft and dock it to an Earth-facing port.

After remaining at the orbiting laboratory for about 45 days, the spaceplane will be released from the station and return for a landing at Kennedy’s Launch and Landing Facility. After landing, Dream Chaser is powered down, and the Sierra Space team will transfer it back to the processing facility to perform necessary inspections, offload remaining NASA cargo, and begin the process of preparing it for its next mission.
 
So does this mean that the Dream Chaser will be stacked on its' LV soon?
 
The Space Bucket has put out a video concerning the Dream Chaser's current status:


For decades now a new more modern spaceplane has been undergoing near-constant development, manufacturing, and testing. All of this has led up to its maiden flight, which is expected to happen just later this year. Only days ago Tenacity, the first flight-capable Dream Chaser, arrived at NASA Kennedy in Florida. This will be the location of its final tests and eventually its launch site.
Tenacity was completed months ago however NASA and the company responsible, Sierra Space, are doing everything in their power to ensure the vehicle is ready and can withstand the forces of launch, reentry, etc. The recent move to NASA’s facility marks the final journey and practically the end of testing. Here I will go more in-depth into the final tests, arrival at the facility, expected launch date, and more.
Chapters:
0:41 - Arrival In Florida
3:45 - Thorough Testing
 
So does this mean that the Dream Chaser will be stacked on its' LV soon?
Far from it.
a. aside from tiles, there is still a lot of work even before they get to cargo installation and propellant loading. It still has to be checked out (electrical, mechanical and fluid systems)
b. What launch vehicle? Starliner Atlas is still in the VIF. Vulcan for Dreamchaser hasn't been delivered to the Cape yet.
 
Did NASA back the wrong horse with Starliner over Dreamchaser for crew launch. Mind you at one point it was a sole source award just Starliner so not even Dragon which really makes you wonder about the thinking back then.
 
Mind you at one point it was a sole source award just Starliner so not even Dragon which really makes you wonder about the thinking back then.

Well back then Boeing had a decades long experience in spaceflight while the other two were basically starts ups with limited experience.
 
We're also not comparing apples. Boeing's building a crew-rated vehicle with an escape system, DC is an uncrewed vehicle going up inside a fairing. Boeing has had such a bad time it's easy to speculate that SNC could have beaten them to the pad, but it's far from a given.
 
The countdown for the first crewed Strainer mission has started:


LIVE! ULA Boeing Starliner CFT Countdown
Join us as we countdown to launch of Boeing Starliner or the first time with crew!
Pad : SLC-41
Location : Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, USA
Rocket : Atlas V
Spacecraft: Starliner
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
OUR MISSION: Our mission is to inform and inspire the explorers of tomorrow; because we believe that space is better together.
 
Well back then Boeing had a decades long experience in spaceflight while the other two were basically starts ups with limited experience.
No. Boeing at the time had zero engineering or personnel experience in designing and building a successfully flown manned spacecraft.
- Dyna Soar was never flown. Those engineers have retired and/or died.
- NAA/NAR/RI Built the Apollo C/SM. Those engineers have retired and/or died.
- RI built the Space Shuttle. Boeing bought whatever RI called the Space Division at the time. By the time that Boeing bid on Starliner, the RI shuttle engineers (from the 1970s) had retired and/or died.

Any time that you see advertising or a company line that "xyz is in our blood" or "abc" is our heritage -and- "xyz" and "abc" is more than ten years in the past, that claim is can not be logically associated with current capability.

Come on people, can we have have at least a modicum of critical thinking?

Do we have to explicitly apply this common banking caveat to Aerospace?

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

 
No. Boeing at the time had zero engineering or personnel experience in designing and building a successfully flown manned spacecraft.
Not quite true. They had built and flown a spacecraft, which was the equivalent of the Starliner OFT-1 mission multiple times. The X-37. There were no issues with Starliner's systems that would have accommodated a crew on the OFT missions. An X-37 and uncrewed Starliner are equivalent when it comes to basic spacecraft systems and ops.
 
To the best of my limited knowledge, X-37 was not/is not manned and does not carry full-up human support systems. (If I'm wrong, please correct me.)

There were no issues with Starliner's systems that would have accommodated a crew...
Yeah. Other than the wiring* and the flight software on OFT-1...

(*family and friend stories of the 204 Review Board - never again!)
 
We're also not comparing apples. Boeing's building a crew-rated vehicle with an escape system, DC is an uncrewed vehicle going up inside a fairing. Boeing has had such a bad time it's easy to speculate that SNC could have beaten them to the pad, but it's far from a given.
Just a quick note one of the differences from the unmanned version, is that the manned version will be flying without a fairing.
 
To the best of my limited knowledge, X-37 was not/is not manned and does not carry full-up human support systems. (If I'm wrong, please correct me.)
Correct! Boeing did investigate a crewed version around 2011 however. It would be scaled up 165%.

Paywalled:


Summary:


And the report itself.
 

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I hate to say this, but how much longer is Dream Chaser going to take, SN has been working on this for a very long time. When I was at our sister company, I authored a white paper for a distributed, EMA based FBW flight controls architecture in 2013! And look what good 'ol Elon and SpaceX has accomplished, is Boeing involved?
 
To the best of my limited knowledge, X-37 was not/is not manned and does not carry full-up human support systems. (If I'm wrong, please correct me.)
I never said anything different. Life support hasn't been an issue. As far as building spacecraft, Boeing has done it recently.
Yeah. Other than the wiring* and the flight software on OFT-1...

the wiring was never a real problem. Standard for most spacecraft.
 
I hate to say this, but how much longer is Dream Chaser going to take, SN has been working on this for a very long time. When I was at our sister company, I authored a white paper for a distributed, EMA based FBW flight controls architecture in 2013! And look what good 'ol Elon and SpaceX has accomplished, is Boeing involved?
no
 
My memory is hazy, but I seem to remember that X-37/X-40 started life as the Dyna-Soar like OSP shuttle replacement, before becoming the space drone we know today. Some SLI involvement…back when Boeing wasn’t considered the joke it is today.

X-37 looks to be surrounded by men a cut above what surrounds Starliner
 
I hate to say this, but how much longer is Dream Chaser going to take, SN has been working on this for a very long time. When I was at our sister company, I authored a white paper for a distributed, EMA based FBW flight controls architecture in 2013! And look what good 'ol Elon and SpaceX has accomplished, is Boeing involved?
Yeah but this isn’t just SN it’s also NASA. If I hear one more person who thinks Space X is the answer to everything, are you even aware how far past Starship is on its original time estimates already. Spaceflight takes time.
 
I consider that going places `wingless` is a waste of energy. using air as a cushion for lift is the way you can save energy. So going straight vertically up is not saving energy at all. Maybe piggy backing on next generation Supercargo plane and then going `places` using wings to at least 35km up( probably much higher air would bee too low pressure to use lift), before launching into space , is the way to go, unless the wings are so heavy that weight issue drags the whole `savings ` issue down. Just guessing, anyway, the wings are useless in space, yet they would be no issue dragwise or weightwise.
Really old comment to pick up on, but @Archibald has chased down a whole pile of NASA research that shows that trying to fly any direction BUT straight up at supersonic speeds adds exponential amounts of energy to whatever is needed to get into orbit.

(Minor catch that you can air launch at 50,000ft and mach 0.8 and save ~1100m/s delta-vee, mostly due to reduced atmospheric drag, but getting up to Mach 3 before the air launch doesn't even double the delta-vee savings!)
 
Yeah but this isn’t just SN it’s also NASA. If I hear one more person who thinks Space X is the answer to everything, are you even aware how far past Starship is on its original time estimates already. Spaceflight takes time.
SpaceX has accomplished a lot and you are right, they are not the complete answer to everything. You are correct about NASA, almost the USG equivalent of Boeing. I really do wish Boeing and NASA at some point get their s**t together.
 
Huh? How so?
NASA seems to be struggling, never was like that before. NASA also really hacked on SpaceX at SpaceX's entry into the launch business instead of embracing them and working with them from the start, plus I realize Elon Musk can be difficult as well. You do have to give SpaceX kudos for what they have accomplished and their almost weekly launch schedule. Starship has its development issues but is moving faster than NASA could achieve. NASA mindset was that NASA was the only entity which can do space, not so anymore.
 
NASA seems to be struggling, never was like that before. NASA also really hacked on SpaceX at SpaceX's entry into the launch business instead of embracing them and working with them from the start, plus I realize Elon Musk can be difficult as well. You do have to give SpaceX kudos for what they have accomplished and their almost weekly launch schedule. Starship has its development issues but is moving faster than NASA could achieve. NASA mindset was that NASA was the only entity which can do space, not so anymore.
wrong.
a. NASA is not monolithic. It has nuclear powered rovers on Mars, the largest optical/near optical telescopes in space, a probe orbiting Jupiter and other spacecraft.
b. NASA did no "hacking"on SpaceX. It embrace SpaceX and provided some help on Falcon 1 and went all in on Falcon 9 and Dragon and provided almost $400 million.
 
It would appear that the Dreamchaser has missed its' ride, from the Space Bucket:


After Vulcan’s first launch early this year, the plan was for Dream Chaser to be the second payload sometime in the summer. That being said, recently it’s become clear that Sierra Space needs more time to complete testing and final prep before they are ready to integrate the spaceplane with Vulcan. Interestingly, rather than just waiting for Dream Chaser to be ready, ULA has decided to launch without them.
Specifically, they decided they’re instead just going to launch a mass simulator in order to ensure Vulcan is certified in a timely manner. However, because Dream Chaser is missing its ride to space, the next available Vulcan could be well into 2025 based on ULA’s current manifest. Here I will go more in-depth into this delay, ULA’s rush for certification, final spaceplane testing, and more.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sierranevadacorp
Chapters:
0:00 - Intro
0:40 - Missed Its Ride
3:22 - Dream Chaser Tenacity

 

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