According to SNC's Mark Sirangelo the Dream Chaser flight on Saturday achieved 99% of what was planned. The prime purpose was to see if the vehicle would fly. It did - perfectly.
This was the first test of a lifting body since the 1970s. As the landing gear deployed, the left side gear did not deploy properly. The vehicle could not compensate and skidded off of the runway ending up on its side. There was no damage to the interior of the cabin. Sirangelo said that this incident showed SNC just how strong their vehicle is.
This specific vehicle was only supposed to have two drop tests before being reworked to perform orbital flight. SNC is looking into what the new plan will be for this specific vehicle. Sirangelo said that they got most of the data that they needed and that this incident will not really affect their testing plans.
Earlier post by SNC
Today (26 October), Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) performed its first free-flight approach-and-landing test of the Dream Chaser(R) spacecraft. The vehicle successfully released from its carrier aircraft, an Erickson Air-Crane helicopter, as planned at approximately 11:10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
Following release, the Dream Chaser spacecraft automated flight control system gently steered the vehicle to its intended glide slope. The vehicle adhered to the design flight trajectory throughout the flight profile. Less than a minute later, Dream Chaser smoothly flared and touched down on Edwards Air Force Base's Runway 22L right on centerline. While there was an anomaly with the left landing gear deployment, the high-quality flight and telemetry data throughout all phases of the approach-and-landing test will allow SNC teams to continue to refine their spacecraft design.
SNC and NASA Dryden are currently reviewing the data. As with any space flight test program, there will be anomalies that we can learn from, allowing us to improve our vehicle and accelerate our rate of progress. Please continue to monitor, www.SNCDreamChaser.com, for more information.
About Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems
Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems business area based in Louisville, Colo., designs and manufactures advanced spacecraft, space vehicles, rocket motors and spacecraft subsystems and components for the US Government, commercial customers as well as for the international market. SNC's Space Systems has more than 25 years of space heritage in space and has participated in over 400 successful space missions through the delivery of over 4,000 systems, subsystems and components. During its history, SNC's Space Systems has concluded over 70 programs for NASA and over 50 other clients. For more information about SNC's Space Systems visit www.sncspace.com and follow us on Facebook at Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems.
Media Contact: SNCDreamChaser@sncorp.com or Krystal Scordo at 720-407-3192
About Sierra Nevada Corporation
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), headquartered in Sparks, Nev., is one of America's fastest growing private companies based on its significant expansion and reputation for rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, aerospace, avionics, space, propulsion, micro-satellite, aircraft, communications systems and solar energy. Under the leadership of CEO Fatih Ozmen and President Eren Ozmen, SNC employs over 2,500 people in 30 locations in 16 states. SNC's six unique business areas are dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to SNC's dynamic customer base.
SNC is also the Top Woman-Owned Federal Contractor in the United States. Over the last 30 years under the Ozmen's leadership, SNC has remained focused on providing its customers the very best in diversified technologies to meet their needs and has a strong and proven track record of success. The company continues to focus its growth on the commercial sector through internal advancements and outside acquisitions, including the emerging markets of renewable energy, telemedicine, nanotechnology, cyber and net-centric operations. For more information on SNC visit www.sncorp.com and follow us on Facebook at Sierra Nevada Corporation.
Media Contact: SNCDreamChaser@sncorp.com or Michelle Erlach775-813-8259.