The Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser test article arrived at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center on May 15, in preparation for the next phase of its test program.

For the next phase, a truck will tow the vehicle down the runway to validate performance of the nose strut, brakes, and tires. Those tests will be followed by captive carry tests using an Erickson Skycrane helicopter, leading to unmanned drop tests later this year.

A second test article will be equipped for piloted approach and landing tests. NASA astronauts have already begun test-flying Dream Chaser approaches in a simulator at Langley Research Center in Virginia.

Dream Chaser is intended for a wide variety of orbital missions, including independent on-orbit research and satellite repair, as well as resupplying of the International Space Station. The design has a long heritage, being deriving from the Soviet MiG-21 by way of the NASA HL-20.

Written by Astro1 on May 20th, 2013 , Sierra Nevada

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