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Mon, Feb 06, 2012

SNC Completes First Dream Chaser Test Flight Vehicle Structure

Achieves A 'Major Milestone' In CCDev2 Program

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems has achieved a major Dream Chaser milestone under NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) Program.  Successful completion of this milestone required the assembly and delivery of the primary structure of the first Dream Chaser flight test vehicle. SNC has now completed all of its 11 scheduled CCDev milestones.

“SNC is proud to have met its schedule and cost targets in the delivery of our first flight structure as we continue to make preparations for our vehicle’s first full-scale flight.  The Dream Chaser Program is making great strides towards developing a safe and cost-effective space system that will provide our country with the capability to safely transport crew and critical cargo to and from the International Space Station,” said Mark Sirangelo, head of SNC’s Space Systems.

The Dream Chaser Flight Test Vehicle will be used to execute several remaining CCDev2 milestones, including a captive carry flight and the first free flight of the vehicle which is scheduled for the third quarter of this year. Program Director of Flight Operations, Steve Lindsey, joined the Dream Chaser team in 2011 after five Space Shuttle flights and three years as Chief of the Astronaut Office. Lindsey will manage SNC flight operations for the Flight Test Vehicle.  Dream Chaser’s CCDev2 flight tests will be conducted with the assistance of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (DRFC).   DRFC, under the direction of David McBride, is located at Edwards Air Force Base in California and serves as NASA's primary center for atmospheric flight research and operations.

“The delivery of the Dream Chaser Flight Test Vehicle illustrates the significant progress our team has made as part of NASA’s CCDev Program,” said Jim Voss, SNC’s Vice President for Space Exploration Systems. “Our team now includes over a dozen heritage space companies and seven NASA Centers whose combined strength has continued to allow us to exceed the Program’s expectations.  The composite structure provided by our partner organizations will allow our team to further execute concurrent design and development for the Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle.”

The all-composite structure was designed by the SNC team and built in conjunction with SNC Dream Chaser team organizations AdamWorks of Centennial, Colo., Applied Composite Technology of Gunnison, Utah, and Scaled Composites of Mojave, Calif.  SNC is now assembling the vehicle in the company’s Louisville, Colo. facility.

FMI: www.sncorp.com

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