Dream Chaser for CEV requirement

TheSpaceBucket has just put out this video about the Dream Chaser's expendable Shooting Star module (A rather apt name):


After many years of development and testing, Dream Chaser’s first launch is scheduled to happen only months from now. As Sierra Space prepares, they are not only working on Dream Chaser Tenacity but also its Shooting Star transport vehicle. An equally important piece of equipment that changes what this spaceplane is capable of.
Shooting star is an extended module that attaches to the back of Dream Chaser. On a lot of future missions including the CRS flights with NASA, we can expect to see this hardware included. Some of its features include extra payload capacity, disposal services, power generation, and space, just to name a few. Unlike Dream Chaser, Shooting Star is meant to burn up in the atmosphere when its mission is complete.
This is why Sierra Space is working hard to innovate and create a capable design that can keep up with the future demand of Dream Chaser. For years now the company has been testing its materials and other important factors to try and create the most viable and effective hardware. Here I will go more in-depth into Shooting Star’s design, its importance for future Dream Chaser missions, what to expect in the coming months, and more.
My very best wishes and more power to Dream Chaser, and I really hope to see a crewed variant in orbit before long - I cannot help but smile at the reincarnation of the Hermes Service Module concept as the Shooting Star Module :).
 
I cannot believe it is taking this long to develop this vehicle, look what Space X has achieve in a much shorter time period. Dream Chaser is based upon the X-38 from some time ago plus SN has been getting constant infusions of funding, at one point I was thinking, oh-no, another Rocket Plane Kistler boondoggle, I wish SN luck but I'm not convinced yet, sorry.
 
I cannot believe it is taking this long to develop this vehicle, look what Space X has achieve in a much shorter time period. Dream Chaser is based upon the X-38 from some time ago plus SN has been getting constant infusions of funding, at one point I was thinking, oh-no, another Rocket Plane Kistler boondoggle, I wish SN luck but I'm not convinced yet, sorry.
For clearification, the Dream Chaser had nothing to do with the X-38. It actually was a follow-on development of the Lockheed HL-20.
 
I cannot believe it is taking this long to develop this vehicle, look what Space X has achieve in a much shorter time period. Dream Chaser is based upon the X-38 from some time ago plus SN has been getting constant infusions of funding, at one point I was thinking, oh-no, another Rocket Plane Kistler boondoggle, I wish SN luck but I'm not convinced yet, sorry.
For clearification, the Dream Chaser had nothing to do with the X-38. It actually was a follow-on development of the Lockheed HL-20.
Dream Chaser is based upon the HL-20 as you stated which takes from the NASA/Scaled X-38 where the X-38 has lineage to the original, shorter X-24, just to show the commonality where theralso is some lineage to the Northrop HL-10, took a while to get a lifting body to this point. Someday SN will launch the thing.
 
TheSpaceBucket has put out a video comparing the Dream Chaser to the Space Shuttle:


Dream Chaser is a modern-day spaceplane approaching its first launch expected to happen late this year. Decades prior, the Space Shuttle was launching consistently and proving itself as an extremely capable and impressive launch system. While by no means perfect, over the course of around 30 years, the spacecraft launched 135 times.
These missions were crucial in the construction and placement of key space infrastructure still in use today such as the International Space Station or Hubble Telescope. With this in mind, it brings up the question of what exactly is Dream Chaser’s plan and how does this modern spaceplane compare. Here I will go more in-depth into some of the biggest differences between the two, the similarities they share, what to expect in the near future, and more.

Personally I think the Space Shuttle was a poorly designed engineering kludge.
 
Astronaut have begun training for the Dream Chaser's first flight, from TheSpaceBucket:


Despite different delays, the first Dream Chaser mission is still coming up fast and with it are more frequent updates from the company. The first mission will see the spaceplane dock to the International Space Station and deliver a significant amount of cargo. However, this process requires a crew to board the spacecraft and at least know how to operate and navigate the various systems.
Recently crews that will soon launch on the SpaceX Dragon got a crash course on the Dream Chaser cargo module. Here we got a much better idea of the interior and what we can expect to see on launch day. This comes in addition to more updates regarding Tenacity's heat shield which has been a major focus of the company for a while now.
If successful, there will be another option within the space industry for consistent cargo transport and future crew capability. Here I will go more in-depth into the recent Dream Chaser astronaut training, the interior of this spaceplane, what to expect in the coming months, and more.
 
Just caught up with the last few pages and the manned vehicle. I can remember the time when the manned variant became unmanned - and DC-100. Seems DC-200 since then has taken a different shape - the one below.

I want to ask - when, and why did the change happened ? Why not re-man the soon to fly unmanned variant, which in turned derived, well, from the manned Dreamchaser that lost to Dragon-2 and CTS-100 a while back ?

Pros and cons

Cons: two different vehicles, two different shapes. Never good for space startups often precarious financing. Although Sierra Nevada seems to have been pretty robust, over the last 20 years...

Pros: landing of "classic" lifting body (from which DC-100 derives, all the way back to the 1960's X-23A and X-24A) was always tricky. Just ask Bruce Peterson (and Martin Caidin, and "Cyborg"). Thinking about it, DreamChaser once had a nose-skid collapse.

Wonder if they moved away (somewhat) from the old "X-23A to DC-100" shape because of the landing characteristics - a bit too scary for humans or, well, for NASA ?

Just IMHO, as usual.

Whatever the reason, that new shape is sexy as hell.

FmYvYcNWQAAydKK.jpg
 
Funny to think that everyboody assumed DC-200 would be a return of CCDEV Dreamchaser that came third behind SpaceX and Boeing.
Alternatively
"They removed the windows, seats and ECLSS out of Dreamchaser and got a cargo contract. Good. Someday they will just have to put again, the seats, the ECLSS and the windows and - BOOM, return of manned Dreamchaser. Maybe they could even screw Boeing flawed CTS-100".

Well... no. They took a different path.
 
Dreamchaser's come a looong way. Way back in 2004, SpaceDev was thinking of an X-34-derived spaceplane that could either do suborbital missions on its own or fully orbital missions on the back of hybrid boosters (that's the rainbow-liveried one below). In 2006, Jim Benson left SpaceDev to found the Benson Space Company using the HL-20 design on top of an Atlas V.


Then, he decided on an X-15-based suborbital craft


Jim died in 2008 and Dreamchaser itself went on to Sierra Nevada and it was back to the HL-20 design, with Stratolaunch (about the same time Spacex was thinking of using them too, I think), and after that on to the current DC-100 and DC-200. That's one hell of a persistent idea and you can see why they named the first vehicle Tenacity. I'm sure he'd be proud of how his successors have carried on.

 

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And it go even further than that - to the Soviets BOR-1/2/3/4 own lifting bodies, their recovery caught on tape by the RAAN & RAAF in 1983 - and "reverse engineered" by NASA Langley, the HL-20 & HL-42 in the late 1980's.

And it go even further than that - to the 1960's lifting body program, one of them called HL-10.

The lifting body programs are like ping pong between NASA, the former USSR, NASA again, then private companies. The whole saga hasn't stopped for a minute since 1963 at least: 60 years ago.

Ricocheting body would be more appropriate that lifting body...

1-Korolev PKA winged alternative to Vostok, 1958

2-Chelomei Raketoplans, 1962

3-MIG Spiral, 1965-1977 /// First lifting body program, NASA, 1963-1975

4-BOR1/2/3/4 subscales demonstrators, 1969-1984

5-NASA Langley own take at the BOR shape: HL-20 / HL-42 personal launch system (1991)

6-Spacedev (early 2000's)

7-Benson (late 2000's)

8-SNC (since 2008 at least)

It will never end...
 
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The first Dream Chaser has just been powered up for the first time, from TheSpaceBucket:


Things are starting to ramp up quickly as Dream Chaser gets closer to its maiden flight. Only days ago the company announced astronaut training and practice for the first launch. Now significant physical developments with the Tenacity test article are being completed.
For example earlier today, Sierra Space announced that for the first time, they powered on Dream Chaser. This is a big deal considering they have been constructing and working on Tenacity for years. The successful power-up means that final testing is right around the corner and then it will be time to launch.
Since 2021, teams have been putting Tenacity together, routing its wiring, and installing heat shield tiles, all for the first mission to the ISS scheduled late this year. Here I will go more in-depth into the new power milestone, exactly what still needs to be completed, what to expect in the coming weeks, and more.
 
Good to see Dream Chaser getting powered up for the first time. One question though, when will Dream Chaser's first flight be? I am waiting with eager anticipation.
 
Good to see Dream Chaser getting powered up for the first time. One question though, when will Dream Chaser's first flight be? I am waiting with eager anticipation.
DreamChaser launch is pending the Vulcan launch which is also pending the troublesome BE-4 engines produced by Blue Origin.
A lot of people are upset (let alone the DoD) for the ill-fated development of such new engines.
 
Let's see if BO can get the BE-4 engines sorted out, it cannot be that difficult could it?
 
Let's see if BO can get the BE-4 engines sorted out, it cannot be that difficult could it?

The latest article by Doug Messier dated back the end of February:
BE-4 engines have long been the main pacing item for the Vulcan rocket, which is designed to replace the Atlas V and Delta IV boosters. Blue Origin was years behind the original schedule for delivering them to ULA. Blue Origin will also use the engines in its New Glenn rocket.


Obviously any Vulcan maiden launch happened last 4th of May.

 
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Good to see Dream Chaser getting powered up for the first time. One question though, when will Dream Chaser's first flight be? I am waiting with eager anticipation.
DreamChaser launch is pending the Vulcan launch which is also pending the troublesome BE-4 engines produced by Blue Origin.
A lot of people are upset (let alone the DoD) for the ill-fated development of such new engines.
There has also been delays with DreamChaser itself.
 
Dreamchaser's come a looong way. Way back in 2004, SpaceDev was thinking of an X-34-derived spaceplane that could either do suborbital missions on its own or fully orbital missions on the back of hybrid boosters
Like a mini Energia-Buran stack.

There were similar micro-and mini-shuttles called for…
 
I consider this concept a crucial asset for continued US crewed spaceflight.

Indeed. My own take: I can see a kind of "niche" for Dreamchaser, along the lines of
-Before SpaceX Starship changes the scale of manned spaceflight - provided it succeeds.
-Backup to SpaceX Dragon 2 (not for CCdev however: that train has left the station in 2014-2016)
-Since Boeing CTS-100 is in serious trouble
-Unique capabilities: winged return to a runway, always useful (compare that to Dragon 2 splashdowns, and CTS-100 ground landings by parachutes)

Even with Starship someday make everything else (manned) look ridiculous, there will still be "niches" for a smart enough, smaller system. As Starship, designed for a massive colonization onslaught on faraway Mars, may be a little overkill / oversized for plain old LEO shores.

Boeing CTS-100 future past CCdev NASA missions and the last Atlas V is a bit murky. Of course it could fly on Vulcan to the future space stations (Orbital Reef, Vast and all the others I can't remember the names). But the apeal of a winged Dreamchaser on a runway might be strong.
Who knows... there will always be a market for smaller LEO vehicles, manned, to complement Starship.

Or maybe Starship will steamroll everything, Boeing 747 style.
 
I consider this concept a crucial asset for continued US crewed spaceflight.
Or maybe Starship will steamroll everything, Boeing 747 style.
Careful with analogies like that - note that while the last 747 has recently left the Boeing Everett factory building, as of April 2023, 15,591 Boeing 737s have been ordered and 11,395 delivered since its first flight in April 1967...
 
Here's this new video by TheSpaceBucket concerning the Dream Chaser's drawn out development schedule:


For the last two decades, the Dream Chaser spaceplane has been under development and going through tests in preparation for its first test flight. While this milestone approaches, it brings up the question of why has this process taken so long and what exactly happened during this time period. As a next-generation spaceplane, Dream Chaser has a lot of future opportunities with both crew and cargo missions.
This being said, if it's not complete and ready to fly, then its design and plan don't necessarily mean anything. The main reasons have to do with varying test results, acquisition of companies, and funding, just to name a few. These all impacted the program over the last two decades and have kept it grounded for such a long time.
Thankfully this is set to change only months from now, unless even more delays get in the way. Here I will go more in-depth into Dream Chaser's history, what exactly teams have been working on, what to expect in the months leading up to launch, and more.
 
The inaugural launch of Dreamchaser on Vulcan will no longer take place this year and is now set for early 2024.
 
The inaugural launch of Dreamchaser on Vulcan will no longer take place this year and is now set for early 2024.

More delays due to the Vulcan-Centaur launcher?
More likely Dreamchaser itself.

Well, Dreamchaser is still the second Vulcan flight, but the first flight has been pushed back to fairly late in 2023. They did the flight readiness firing a week ago, but they still need to roll back, mate the payload, roll out again, prep, and launch. That pretty much pushes launch #2 into 2024, regardless of Dreamchaser's readiness.
 
The inaugural launch of Dreamchaser on Vulcan will no longer take place this year and is now set for early 2024.

More delays due to the Vulcan-Centaur launcher?
More likely Dreamchaser itself.

Well, Dreamchaser is still the second Vulcan flight, but the first flight has been pushed back to fairly late in 2023. They did the flight readiness firing a week ago, but they still need to roll back, mate the payload, roll out again, prep, and launch. That pretty much pushes launch #2 into 2024, regardless of Dreamchaser's readiness.
Oh agree that doesn’t help but in this case the delay isn’t just the launcher. Mind you I think the payload on the debut launch had its fair share of delays as well. Though I believe it was ready by late April this year.
 
TheSpaceBucket has put a video concerning the Dream chaser's RCS thrusters:


Dream Chaser has gone through many different design changes and plans throughout its 2-plus decade development. For a while, the company wasn't sure whether or not they would make a crewed or uncrewed variant or combine the two. By now Sierra Space has a set plan and with this outlined designs for specific Dream Chaser variants and features.
The first launch and subsequent launches will all be with an uncrewed Dream Chaser. In order for this spacecraft to move around and orient itself, it will rely on 24 Reaction Control System thrusters located at the front and back of the spacecraft in addition to the Shooting Star module. Other than these thrusters, there will be no main engine on this spacecraft.
Instead, the only Dream Chaser variant so far that features larger primary engines is the crewed version which is still very early in development. These design choices are based on the mission profile and needs of each Dream Chaser variant. Here I will go more in-depth into these propulsion systems, their application in space, what to expect in the coming months, and more.
 
TheSpaceBucket has a progress report on a crewed version of the Dream Chaser:


In the past, the Space Shuttle, while by no means perfect, managed to launch over 100 times and help place a lot of the space infrastructure still in use today. It could be used to carry large crews, or massive payloads thanks to its large bay. The spaceplane design was fascinating to many, however, we haven't quite seen anything like it since.
Throughout Dream Chaser's extensive history, the spaceplane has gone from a crewed vehicle to an uncrewed spacecraft to both. The current approach is to separate the vehicle into three separate variants, each with a specific purpose. The primary and first to launch is the uncrewed version which is set to lift off later this year. However, we just got more news on the future of a crewed Dream Chaser.
A new agreement with NASA is focusing on the DC-201 crewed spaceplane. Specifically, through the agreement, Sierra Space will provide NASA with insight and collaboration into its crewed Dream Chaser spaceplane. This announcement is significant as it's been quite rare that Sierra Space reveals information relating to its plans for crewed flight. Here I will go more in-depth into the history of Dream Chaser's crew aspirations, the new agreement, what to expect in the coming months, and more.
 
Sierra Space describes long-term plans for Dream Chaser and inflatable modules:

“Vice hinted that the company has longer-term plans for Dream Chaser that could possibly allow it to end dependence on other companies’ launch vehicles. We’re thinking about investigating the right technologies in thermal and propulsion and materials that allows us to potentially think about the staging options that would allow us, for the first time, have horizontal takeoff,” he said. He didn’t offer a schedule for developing that version of Dream Chaser.

Hmmmm.

That's an open-ended suggestion, though presumably it would mean a third iteration, a 'D-300', plus a new 1st stage system. Something like MAKS or the Boeing ALSV seems the most conservative. That would be relatively simple with a 1st stage based on an existing heavy lift aircraft and a big expendable tank.


Since the D-100 (Tenacity) is closely related to the HL-20, Bor, MiG-105 lineage, that might even suggest the remarkable Spiral system with a hypersonic 1st stage and an expendable second stage. The BAC 4413 concept is essentially identical (see below).


Then there's a proposal from Northrop Grumman and Orbital Sciences from the long-ago days of SLI with a flying wing launch platform and a reusable second stage.

Personally, I'd think it would be something like MAKS and ALSV as that would be likely to have the lowest development costs.

Only things I've noticed related to something Vice is thinking about, not actual plans. I'm not a lawyer and so on. Just for context.
 

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