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Dream Chaser for CEV requirement

Flyaway

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Via NASA Spaceflight forum.

Here is a transcript of today's Q&A (on twitter) with Steve Lindsey of SNC:

https://twitter.com/SierraNevCorp/with_replies

Question: 1st: Congrats!!! 2nd: the left landing gear appeared to develop a, "wicked shimmy" shortly after landing. Did that actually occur or was it some kind of optical illusion or camera artifact?

Answer: I didn't see that; good rollout so maybe an artifact?

Question: Will the cargo DC still have windows (like the test article)?

Answer: No windows on the cargo version - sad for a pilot like me

Question: Do you already have an aspirational target date for the demo/maiden flight of the actual (not the test article) DC?

Answer: We are currently in discussions with @Space_Station on when our first flight will occur

Question: Looking to the future: can/will Dream Chaser launch with several launch providers after its initial flights with @ulalaunch? Such as @SpaceX, @Arianespace or @blueorigin?

Answer: We are assessing multiple launch vehicles for future missions.

Question: What are your plans for DC in the post-ISS world?

Answer: We are looking at many different types of missions, to include stand alone science missions, satellite servicing missions, and crewed missions ... just to name a few. We intend to be flying Dream Chasers for a long, long time.

Question: what rocket do you guys plan to launch with?

Answer: Our first mission will be on an Atlas V rocket @ulalaunch .

Question: How many Dream Chaser spaceplanes does SNC currently plan to build and operate?

Answer: Total number will depend upon the customers and types of missions we fly. Hopefully a whole fleet of Dream Chasers!

Question: does the Dream Chaser still have the capabilities preform an ISS orbit boost?

Answer: Yes, we do.

Question: First off, thank you for your contributions To the space program, Steve. My question to you is: What lessons were learned from drop test 1 and what changed between the first flight and now?

Answer: We learned so many lessons from the first flight, I can't possibly list them here. The same will be true from this flight. And this is exactly why we flight test; to make our orbital vehicle/system better.

Question: What’s the maximum amount of time Dream Chaser could stay on orbit, docked to the ISS?

Answer: For cargo/science resupply flights, 45-75 days. But that's based on what @Space_Station has requested in their visiting vehicle traffic manifest; we can stay docked or berthed longer than that if needed.

Question: Do you have internships available for college students that will provide hands-on experience with projects like Dream Chaser?

Answer: YES!! Go check out the SNC website - http://sncorp.com

Question: For crewed flights, what abort options will Dream Chaser have if an emergency occurs during launch?

Answer: We have designed the Dream Chaser to be able to abort anytime during ascent (including while sitting on the launch pad). For missions to the @Space_Station, we also have the ability to land at runways up the east coast of the United States.

Question: What is the future of this particular Dream Chaser vehicle after its completed all testing? Donating it to a museum?

Answer: Right now we plan to keep it in 'flyable storage' so we can use it for future test flights if needed. It is also human rated, so when we build a crewed version in the future we'll do additional atmospheric flight test. Then maybe to a museum!

Question: Because I think all LV's in dev't now should have REUSABILITY as a basic feature, what's SNC's aspirational target for number of reuse w/ minimal refurbishment for each D.C. spacecraft?

Answer: Our design goal is 15 flight reuse -- we'll get better data on their actual life once we start flying missions

Questions: 1) Has all the CFD/Modeling been done for launch/stress atop the Atlas V? 2) Were other firms' launchers modeled/tested? 3) Time/issues if converting to Astronaut Ferry Mission?

Answers: We've done a lot of CFD/Modeling work on the Dream Chaser and our Launch Vehicle. We are investigating several different launch vehicles; this will include similar work. We maintain a 'path to crew' with our vehicle; crew and cargo vehicles are about 85% common

Question: I am wondering; If the successful atmospheric Free-Flight test of @SierraNevCorp's Dream Chaser, on November 12, did not included a test-routine for the folding-wing design, when and how will that be tested?

Answer: We'll test the wing deployment system on the ground and in a vacuum & thermal chamber. The wings are deployed on orbit - so they'll already be fixed in place prior to entry.

Question: My dad noted many similarities (visually) between Dream Chaser and X-38. Was that program the starting point for this one?

Answer: Similar, but different heritage from the X-38. The Dream Chaser comes from NASA's HL-20 Program, which came from the Russian BOR-4 Program. How's that for an interesting heritage?!

Question: In mid flight during the drop test, the DC seemed to wobble from left to right. Was this normal?

Answer: Great question! That 'wobbling' was actually an intentional 'Programmed Test Input', or PTI. This set of maneuvers was designed to assess the responsiveness and stability of the vehicle and provide us better aerodynamic data. Worked Great!!

Question: Why the lag on getting video out? It's so much easier for folks like me to retweet stuff when it's there to retweet - and we're ALWAYS hungry for webcasts!

Answer: It was Veteran's day weekend. We flew at a closed airfield (Edwards AFB) -- and the men and women of the USAF deserved the weekend off! We processed the video as soon as we had access to it.

Question: how many test flights do you think there will be after the most recent one?

Answer: We're assessing the data from this most recent test - our decision to execute additional test flights will be based on whether or not we accomplished all of our test objectives from this flight.

Question: Was #DreamChaser being flown strictly via computer or was a human involved?

Answer: The Dream Chaser flew autonomously (via computers and pre-programmed commands). However, we also had a flight control team capable of commanding the vehicle and analyzing telemetry in real time.

Question: Will the U.N. mission in 2021 land in the United States or outside the U.S?

Answer: We haven't made a decision on this -- but we are working this question with @UNOOSA

Question: What's the transition has been like btwn space shuttle nd dream chaser...does smaller means less complicated or the opposite...in reference to design, aerodynamics, propulsion etc..

Answer: We took all of the lessons learned from the Space Shuttle Program and applied them to our design; making the vehicle as robust and simple as possible. This will make Dream Chaser more reliable and less expensive to operate.

Question: I noticed that even when #DreamChaser is in contact with the ground on all 3 landing gears it is still pitched up somewhat. Most aircraft are pitched down a little. Why is that?

Answer: Our nose skid strut is a little higher but when at rest the vehicle is pretty level. The shuttle nose gear was much shorter, and that resulted in much firmer 'slapdown' forces. Our derotation and nose strut touchdown is much gentler by comparison

Question: what are the 2 most important safety features redesigned in DreamChaser vs Space Shuttle?

Answer: 2 that come to mind are:- We went from toxic chemicals (such as hypergolic fuels and hydrazine) to non-toxic fuels, which make for easier access to the vehicle and safer ground processing - Improved, tougher heat shield
 

blackstar

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I hope someday we get to see the video of the earlier crash. I understand why they won't release it--they don't want that to be shown over and over again. But I've always thought that an open airing of the difficulties of doing this engineering is important for people on the outside, so they can understand that making it look easy is not easy.
 

Flyaway

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Dream Chaser through critical landing test, prepares for orbital flights

With Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser spaceplane through a successful and critical Approach and Landing Test milestone, the company is now shifting gears to focus on the all-important first orbital flight of Dream Chaser No Earlier Than 2020. That orbital flight will be part of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s fulfillment of NASA’s CRS2 Commercial Resupply Services cargo transportation effort for the International Space Station.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/11/dream-chaser-test-prepares-orbital-flights/
 

gtg947h

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blackstar said:
But I've always thought that an open airing of the difficulties of doing this engineering is important for people on the outside, so they can understand that making it look easy is not easy.
THIS.
 

Flyaway

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SIERRA NEVADA CORPORATION RECEIVES OFFICIAL NASA LAUNCH WINDOW FOR DREAM CHASER® SPACECRAFT

SPARKS, Nev. , February 07, 2018 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) received NASA’s Authority to Proceed for the Dream Chaser spacecraft’s first mission, with a launch window for late 2020. The mission will provide cargo resupply to the International Space Station under the Commercial Resupply Services Contract 2 (CRS2).

“SNC has been successfully completing critical design milestones as approved by NASA, and having a timetable for the first launch is another important step achieved for us,” said Fatih Ozmen, owner and CEO of SNC. “The team has worked so hard to get to this point and we can’t wait to fulfill this mission for NASA.”

Key Mission Capabilities:

Delivers up to 5,500 kg (12,125 lb) of pressurized and unpressurized supplies and scientific research payloads
Remains attached to the space station for extended periods so crew can transfer cargo and perform science laboratory operations
Flying laboratory that allows scientists to send commands, receive data in real-time
Powered payload science experiments can operate continuously during the mission
Critical science is conducted from the pressurized cabin (crew-tended or autonomous)
Unpressurized cargo/experiments are transferred to or from the space station via robotic operations
Returns up to 2000kg of cargo via pinpoint landing at NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) for immediate post-landing handover to customer, maximizing the integrity of data collected on-orbit
“The Dream Chaser is going to be a tremendous help to the critical science and research happening on the space station,” said Mark Sirangelo, executive vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business area. “Receiving NASA’s Authority to Proceed is a big step for the program. We can’t wait to see the vehicle return to Kennedy Space Center to a runway landing, allowing immediate access to the science payloads being returned from the station.”
https://www.sncorp.com/press-releases/snc-nasa-dream-chaser-launch-window/
 

Flyaway

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New Dreamchaser extended free-flight video:

https://twitter.com/SierraNevCorp/status/961367594858106880


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niupPzdZa6M
 

Flyaway

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Why Sierra Nevada’s owners are betting big on Dream Chaser

To Fatih and Eren Ozmen, Dream Chaser is more than a spaceplane. It’s a vehicle to transform the entire industry.
Some highlights for me from the interview.

Talking about launchers for DC.

Eren: We also will be selecting the launch vehicle for future missions. We are working with many launch providers and they are coming up with very affordable new launch vehicles in the 2021 timeframe. After the first mission, we will have more opportunities to reduce the cost because a significant cost of our mission is the launch. We are looking at all those different partnerships with different companies, looking for synergies and strategic relationships. We are in very heavy discussions with all of them. That is helping us understand how the dynamics are changing and how to maintain our competitive place while launch costs come down and technology improves.
Talking about crewed DC.

Eren: Yes. The NASA crew contract that we got awarded is still open. And actually, we got an extension on that contract. There is no current funding right now because two other companies [Boeing and SpaceX] got the award. But the reason we didn’t get the crew contract is because supposedly we couldn’t achieve the schedule. Now you see the other two companies are behind schedule.
How they are paying for it all.

Eren: Yes. The NASA crew contract that we got awarded is still open. And actually, we got an extension on that contract. There is no current funding right now because two other companies [Boeing and SpaceX] got the award. But the reason we didn’t get the crew contract is because supposedly we couldn’t achieve the schedule. Now you see the other two companies are behind schedule.
What makes DC unique.

Fatih: A key discriminator between Dream Chaser and our competitors is that we are the only rocket-agnostic space vehicle. We are not married to any particular program.

With Dream Chaser, we have a lot of partnerships internationally. We have applications across the board, from the United Nations to working with pharmaceutical companies.

It is a unique approach that is different than what we’ve been doing for the last 40-50 years: sending capsules into space and bringing them back to splash down in the ocean. Dream Chaser lands like the space shuttle did and it leverages all the lessons learned over the years into a next-generation spaceplane.
http://spacenews.com/why-sierra-nevadas-owners-are-betting-big-on-dream-chaser/
 

bobbymike

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http://aviationweek.com/space-symposium/dream-chaser-cargo-spaceplane-assembly-poised-begin

COLORADO SPRINGS—Sierra Nevada expects to receive aeroshell panels next month for the first orbital Dream Chaser, marking a key milestone in the run-up to the start of spaceplane assembly at the company’s Louisville, Colorado, facility.

The panels, along with the vehicle’s composite primary structure, are produced by Lockheed Martin, and form the bulk of the vehicle’s aerodynamic surfaces. The structural elements are coming together as Sierra Nevada continues through critical design review (CDR), the final phases of which are expected to be completed in July.
 

Flyaway

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Dream Chaser cleared to begin full-scale production

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has won NASA approval to begin full-scale production of its Dream Chaser cargo spacecraft scheduled to make its first flight in about two years.

The company announced Dec. 18 that it completed a milestone in its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) 2 contract called Integrated Review 4. With that milestone, the company is cleared to move ahead into assembly of the Dream Chaser vehicle that will deliver cargo to the station.

“NASA’s acknowledgement that SNC has completed this critical milestone and its approval of full production of the first Dream Chaser spacecraft is a major indication we are on the right path toward increasing vital science return for the industry,” John Curry, CRS-2 program director at the company, said in a statement announcing the milestone.
 

sferrin

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those appear to be cargo-only. Any news on when they might fly crewed?
 

Flyaway

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sferrin said:
those appear to be cargo-only. Any news on when they might fly crewed?
Not anytime soon the only customer contract(s) they have for is cargo.
 

sferrin

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Flyaway said:
sferrin said:
those appear to be cargo-only. Any news on when they might fly crewed?
Not anytime soon the only customer contract(s) they have for is cargo.
Are they even working on man-rating the thing?
 

TomS

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sferrin said:
Flyaway said:
sferrin said:
those appear to be cargo-only. Any news on when they might fly crewed?
Not anytime soon the only customer contract(s) they have for is cargo.
Are they even working on man-rating the thing?
Not much, AFAIK, although they still talk about doing it eventually and have the old engineering test article (used for glide and landing tests) in storage.

The current configuration is probably impossible to human-rate, since it launches inside a payload shroud.
 

sferrin

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TomS said:
The current configuration is probably impossible to human-rate, since it launches inside a payload shroud.
Which is really strange as the OML still has the shape of the cockpit.
 

Moose

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TomcatViP said:
Savings (R&D cost)
And they can point to the cargo version's performance as an indicator of how the manned DC will perform next time they're in a competition for NASA/Space Force/whatever funding.
 

Flyaway

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Images on links.

https://twitter.com/SierraNevCorp/status/1115011424475127811

SNC’s Dream Chaser® spacecraft looks a little different these days. We now have more white Thermal Protection System tiles than black. Aside from protecting Dream Chaser against high re-entry temps, they’ll protect against an impact from space junk moving faster than 20,000 mph.
https://twitter.com/sierranevcorp/status/1115056679115161602

The materials that make up Dream Chaser[emoji2400] spacecraft’s Thermal Protection System tiles can survive temperatures up to 3,200F while maintaining the underlying structure temperature below 350F, protecting the spacecraft from re-entry heat.
Short video on this link.

https://mobile.twitter.com/SierraNevCorp/status/1114936030707310592
 

Archibald

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The X-38 was similar - it had the shape of the old *piloted* HL-10, the cockpit "hump" still included, just not to change the overall shape too much.
 

Mark Nankivil

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Protecting from junk moving faster than 20,000 mph?! Good luck with that....

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

TomS

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Mark Nankivil said:
Protecting from junk moving faster than 20,000 mph?! Good luck with that....

Enjoy the Day! Mark
Depends on how big the object is that it can protect against. That's a typical speed for micrometeorites and the Shuttle (for example) got hit with dust to sandgrain sized particles regularly.
 

sferrin

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TomS said:
Mark Nankivil said:
Protecting from junk moving faster than 20,000 mph?! Good luck with that....

Enjoy the Day! Mark
Depends on how big the object is that it can protect against. That's a typical speed for micrometeorites and the Shuttle (for example) got hit with dust to sandgrain sized particles regularly.
Saw a "rock chip" in one of the Shuttles' windscreens. When they analyzed it it turned out to be a paint fleck from some other spacecraft.
 

martinbayer

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Archibald said:
The X-38 was similar - it had the shape of the old *piloted* HL-10, the cockpit "hump" still included, just not to change the overall shape too much.
The X-38 was actually based on the X-24A configuration, see https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/news/FactSheets/FS-038-DFRC.html, not the HL-10.
 

archipeppe

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martinbayer said:
Archibald said:
The X-38 was similar - it had the shape of the old *piloted* HL-10, the cockpit "hump" still included, just not to change the overall shape too much.
The X-38 was actually based on the X-24A configuration, see https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/news/FactSheets/FS-038-DFRC.html, not the HL-10.
Absolutely correct, please see my artwork about the SV-5 development family tree.
 

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Flyaway

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Dream Chaser progress ahead of CRS2 as SNC keeps crew version alive

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser is quietly making progress towards her latest goal of carrying out resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS), starting in 2021. The Cargo variant of the spaceplane – also sporting an updated “color” scheme – is now deep into construction ahead of flying on NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) missions.



The company also made a rare reference to the crew version of the vehicle, which continues to be an active program – if without any NASA missions – under a Space Act Agreement (SAA) with the agency.



Dream Chaser will be flying at least six missions to the ISS in the 2020s, following NASA’s contract award to SNC – along with SpaceX and Orbital ATK for the CRS2 missions.
 

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Welcome to our control room for ground operations! It serves as a communications hub where SNC employees will be able to monitor & control the subsystems of the Dream Chaser[emoji2400] spacecraft, like flight computers & its electrical wiring, as we perform final checks before launch.
 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SNC Selects ULA for Dream Chaser® Spacecraft Launches

NASA Missions to Begin in 2021

SPARKS, Nev. (August 14, 2019) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the global aerospace and national security leader, owned by Chairwoman and President Eren Ozmen and CEO Fatih Ozmen, selected United Launch Alliance (ULA) as the launch vehicle provider for the Dream Chaser® spacecraft’s six NASA missions to the International Space Station. The Dream Chaser will launch aboard ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rockets for its cargo resupply and return services to the space station, starting in 2021.

“Dream Chaser can launch from any conventional rocket so we had great options,” said SNC CEO Fatih Ozmen. “SNC selected ULA because of our strong collaboration on the Dream Chaser program, their proven safety record and on-time performance. This is bringing America’s spaceplane and America’s rocket together for best-of-breed innovation and exploration.”

Under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract, the Dream Chaser will deliver more than 12,000 pounds of pressurized and unpressurized cargo to the space station and remains attached for up to 75 days as an orbiting laboratory. Once the mated mission is complete, the Dream Chaser disposes about 7,000 pounds of space station trash and returns large quantities of critical science, accessible within minutes after a gentle runway landing.

SNC’s Louisville, Colorado-based Space Systems division is proudly partnering with Centennial, Colorado’s ULA, boosting the already strong aerospace economic footprint in the state.

“In this very competitive launch vehicle market, we feel privileged that SNC chose to launch this block of six missions to the ISS with ULA,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO. “This is one of the first contracts for our new Vulcan Centaur rocket, and the first of the six missions will serve as the rocket’s second certification flight. We are excited to bring our more than 120 years of combined launch experience with our Atlas and Delta rockets, which build on a progressive history of technology development and advancement, to Vulcan Centaur.”
Vulcan Centaur’s flight proven design, coupled with innovative technology, is transforming the future of space launch. The new rocket will provide higher performance and greater affordability while continuing to deliver unmatched reliability and precision. Approximately 90 percent of all of Vulcan Centaur’s components will be flown first on Atlas V missions, so that its first flight will have reduced risk. Vulcan Centaur is a new class of space launch vehicle with the performance of a heavy launch vehicle in just a single core.
 

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They're hoping to bid for future crew contracts with a crewed DC, but this is a cargo-only ship.
 

FighterJock

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They're hoping to bid for future crew contracts with a crewed DC, but this is a cargo-only ship.
I did not know that Sierra Nevada were planning on developing a manned variant of Dream Chaser. Thanks Moose. :cool:
 

GeorgeA

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I did not know that Sierra Nevada were planning on developing a manned variant of Dream Chaser. Thanks Moose. :cool:
That’s how it started out, but it didn’t get downselected for the Commercial Crew program. Sierra Nevada then rescoped it as a cargo-only vehicle.
 

blackstar

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They're hoping to bid for future crew contracts with a crewed DC, but this is a cargo-only ship.
I think it's highly unlikely they will get a contract for a crewed version. NASA will already have three crewed spacecraft: Dragon 2, Starliner, and Orion. And the changes required to turn Dream Chaser into a vehicle that could support people would make it pretty much an entirely new spacecraft, so not cheap.
 

Moose

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They're hoping to bid for future crew contracts with a crewed DC, but this is a cargo-only ship.
I think it's highly unlikely they will get a contract for a crewed version. NASA will already have three crewed spacecraft: Dragon 2, Starliner, and Orion. And the changes required to turn Dream Chaser into a vehicle that could support people would make it pretty much an entirely new spacecraft, so not cheap.
I'm not disagreeing with any of this, but the DC team people have been fairly resolute that they will continue to pitch a manned DC, both to future Commercial Crew solicitations and to non-NASA organizations which decide they may wanted a manned lifting body.
 

blackstar

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They're hoping to bid for future crew contracts with a crewed DC, but this is a cargo-only ship.
I think it's highly unlikely they will get a contract for a crewed version. NASA will already have three crewed spacecraft: Dragon 2, Starliner, and Orion. And the changes required to turn Dream Chaser into a vehicle that could support people would make it pretty much an entirely new spacecraft, so not cheap.
I'm not disagreeing with any of this, but the DC team people have been fairly resolute that they will continue to pitch a manned DC, both to future Commercial Crew solicitations and to non-NASA organizations which decide they may wanted a manned lifting body.
We wish them all the luck and look forward to seeing their concept art show up on this website. But if they had trouble selling it when there was no American crewed spacecraft, it's hard to see it being easier to sell it when there are three.
 

Archibald

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Between 2010 and 2014 SNC pitched Dreamchaser for crews, against Dragon 2 and CTS-100 - but lost. Two years later early 2016 they made lemons into lemonade and managed to snatch a cargo contract - even with Cygnus and Dragon 1 already in service. Never quite understood why, btw. Why three cargo vehicles ? Why was DC rescued when Cygnus and Dragon 1 were already in service ? Is it because Cygnus has no return capability and Dragon 1 only ocean landings ? runway landings, how we miss you since the Shuttle death ?
 

blackstar

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Between 2010 and 2014 SNC pitched Dreamchaser for crews, against Dragon 2 and CTS-100 - but lost. Two years later early 2016 they made lemons into lemonade and managed to snatch a cargo contract - even with Cygnus and Dragon 1 already in service. Never quite understood why, btw. Why three cargo vehicles ? Why was DC rescued when Cygnus and Dragon 1 were already in service ? Is it because Cygnus has no return capability and Dragon 1 only ocean landings ? runway landings, how we miss you since the Shuttle death ?
I believe at the time of the announcement, the justification was that DC offered a gentler ride and quicker return for experiments from the ISS and that this would be useful for some of the experiments. However, I doubt that there was ever a clearly defined requirement for this in terms of how many experiments requiring how gentle and quick a return to Earth. My suspicion is that the decision was primarily NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden wanting NASA to have a winged spacecraft. He was a pilot who had flown the shuttle. So I think it was more of an emotional decision than one defined by clear requirements. But maybe I'm wrong.
 
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