The Commercial Spaceflight Federation published a press release and photos outlining progress to date among the five contractors in NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program. The pictures above and below show progress by Sierra Nevada Corporation on its 7-person Dream Chaser shuttle.
CSF PRESS RELEASE
SNCâ€™s CCDev award was for its Dream Chaser vehicle. Dream Chaser will launch on an existing
United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle, and will have on-board propulsion utilizing SNCâ€™s proprietary hybrid motor technology. The Dream Chaser spacecraft is based on NASAâ€™s HL-20 crew vehicle, with a strong development heritage. It is a piloted spacecraft which will be able to carry a crew of seven as well as critical cargo to the ISS and other low Earth orbit destinations, and return crew and fragile experiments to a runway landing.
SNC has announced the successful completion of two more critical milestones for NASAâ€™s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Program. On September 21, 2010, SNC completed its third milestone which was three successful test firings of a single hybrid rocket motor in one day. The tests, which simulated a nominal mission profile, demonstrated the multiple restart capability of SNCâ€™s proprietary hybrid rocket motor. Earlier this summer, SNC completed its second major milestone. This milestone was focused on the development of the primary tooling necessary to build the composite structure of the Dream Chaser. The tooling required under the milestone has been completed and is now being used to complete fabrication of the first critical aeroshell structures which will be tested later this year.
Mark N. Sirangelo, SNCâ€™s Corporate Vice President for Space Systems commented, â€œSNC has
four major milestones under the CCDev 10 month program. All three of our completed
milestones were finished on time and on budget. NASA conducted a thorough review of all the
elements of the milestones and has certified milestone completion with no corrective actions. Iâ€™d
like to thank all of our CCDev Dream Chaser team for this terrific accomplishment.â€