SPARKS, Nev. , August 13, 2013 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces the completion of the Dream Chaser® Space System tow testing at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif. The ground tow tests were conducted in preparation for the upcoming approach and landing test scheduled for the third quarter 2013.
The tow tests were performed in preparation for pre-negotiated, paid-for-performance milestones with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), which is facilitating U.S. companies' development of spacecraft and rockets that can launch from American soil.
“We are very excited to complete this series of tests and achieve another critical milestone for our Dream Chaser flight test program,” said Steve Lindsey, SNC’s Space Systems senior director of programs and former NASA astronaut. “Watching Dream Chaser undergo tow testing on the same runway where we landed several space shuttle orbiters brings a great amount of pride to our Dream Chaser team. We are another step closer to restoring America’s capability to return U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station.”
The Dream Chaser performed four sets of sequential low and high speed ground tow tests over the course of two months. The test sequences were completed at 10 mph, 20 mph, 40 mph and 60 mph to verify integrated spacecraft performance under landing and rollout conditions. The systems verifications included: flight computer and flight software, instrumentation, guidance, navigation, and control, braking and steering performance, flight control surface actuation, mission control and remote commanding capability, and landing gear dynamics.
The tests ensure the Dream Chaser would operate properly upon landing and that the spacecraft will come to a controlled stop after touching down on the runway. SNC’s Dream Chaser team is now preparing for the next CCP tests including a captive carry test, and an approach and landing free flight test, all of which are scheduled for later this fall.
SNC is one of three companies funded under the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability initiative to develop a next generation crew transportation vehicle. The Dream Chaser is on the forefront of the commercial human spaceflight industry, offering safe, reliable, and cost effective crew and critical cargo transportation to low-Earth orbit.
About Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems business area based in Louisville, Colo., designs and manufactures advanced spacecraft, space vehicles, rocket motors and spacecraft subsystems and components for the US Government, commercial customers as well as for the international market. SNC’s Space Systems has more than 25 years of space heritage in space and has participated in over 400 successful space missions through the delivery of over 4,000 systems, subsystems and components. During its history, SNC’s Space Systems has concluded over 70 programs for NASA and over 50 other clients.
About Sierra Nevada Corporation
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), headquartered in Sparks, Nev., is one of America’s fastest growing private companies based on its significant expansion and reputation for rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, aerospace, avionics, space, propulsion, micro-satellite, aircraft, communications systems and solar energy. Under the leadership of CEO Fatih Ozmen and President Eren Ozmen, SNC employs over 2,500 people in 30 locations in 16 states. SNC’s six unique business areas are dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to SNC’s dynamic customer base.
SNC is also the Top Woman-Owned Federal Contractor in the United States. Over the last 30 years under the Ozmen’s leadership, SNC has remained focused on providing its customers the very best in diversified technologies to meet their needs and has a strong and proven track record of success. The company continues to focus its growth on the commercial sector through internal advancements and outside acquisitions, including the emerging markets of telemedicine, nanotechnology, cyber and net-centric operations. For more information on SNC visit and follow us on Facebook at Sierra Nevada Corporation.