Dream Chaser spacecraft passes vibration test

Dream Chaser spacecraft passes vibration test

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The first ship of the planned line, Tenacity, was completed at the company’s factory in Louisville, Colorado, in November and then shipped to NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio.

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The first ship of the planned line, Tenacity, was completed at the company’s factory in Louisville, Colorado, in November and then shipped to NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio.

Sierra Space Company’s shuttle-like Dream Chaser was tested in NASA’s powerful vibration facility that simulates conditions during launch and re-entry into the atmosphere, officials said Thursday ahead of its planned maiden flight to the International Space Station this year.

The first spaceplane of the planned line, Tenacity, was completed at the company’s factory in Louisville, Colorado, in November and then shipped to NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio.

There, NASA said, the vehicle was exposed to the mechanical vibration facility, which is the most powerful spacecraft vibrating system in the world.

Next, it will be placed in a huge vacuum chamber inside Earth, where it will experience the low and very high temperatures of space, as well as low ambient pressure.

“We’re really excited that this year we’re entering NASA orbital operations. It’s a year in which we change how we connect Earth and space,” Sierra Space CEO Tom Weiss told reporters at a press event where the spaceship was introduced at the launch. configuration” combined with the Shooting Star charging module.

The Dream Chaser bears a strong resemblance to the Space Shuttle, NASA’s iconic spacecraft that was decommissioned in 2011.

But they are much smaller, fly autonomously, have a regenerative propulsion system based on clean hydrogen peroxide, and are designed to be reused up to 15 times.

Sierra Space, formerly known as Sierra Nevada Corporation, won a contract in 2016 to operate NASA’s resupply missions to the International Space Station.

The first flight will deliver cargo to the orbital complex at an unspecified date this year, and will be installed atop a new United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket, which made its maiden flight in January.

Unlike SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, a bubblegum-shaped capsule that floats on the ocean by parachute, the Dream Chaser can theoretically land on a runway anywhere in the world, a feature marketed as a selling point to customers purchasing services.

Future versions will be designed for crew carry.

NASA’s goal is to seed a private economy in low Earth orbit, allowing the space agency to focus on more ambitious missions to the Moon and Mars that lack a commercial incentive.

Sierra Space’s other endeavors include building a commercial space station called Orbital Reef.

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