Sierra Nevada Studying X-34 As Rocket Testbed
Sierra Nevada is emerging as the likely front runner to use the former NASA X-34 reusable launch vehicle demonstrator as a flying testbed for its Dream Chaser orbital space vehicle….
Sierra Nevada Executive Vice President Mark Sirangelo confirms the company is studying the X-34 for a supporting role in the Dream Chaser development effort. â€œWe are interested in this project with our interest being adapting our hybrid rocket motor for our orbital space vehicle Dream Chaser program to the X-34 as a test platform.â€
Although Sirangelo says it remains too early to provide further details, he says the X-34 could likely be adapted for carriage beneath the Scaled Composites-built WhiteKnightTwo mothership, as well as the Orbital L-1011 which last carried the vehicle aloft for three flights in 1999.
Sierra Nevada says each of the seven-seat vehicleâ€™s multiple hybrid motors will produce about 100,000 lb. thrust, or about six times the thrust of the SpaceShipOne rocket motor.
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