Dream Chaser Took Data Before Mishap

By Frank Morring, Jr., Guy Norris
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
November 04, 2013
Credit: NASA

A last-minute mechanical failure that sent the Dream Chaser atmospheric test article skidding into the desert sand at Edwards AFB, Calif., with one wheel up may not disqualify Sierra Nevada Corp. from collecting its final $8 million milestone payment under a NASA Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Space Act agreement.

Mark Sirangelo, who heads the Colorado company's space unit, says the lifting-body spaceplane prototype generated almost all the data expected during a 1-min. drop test from 12,500 ft., including the g-loading at touchdown that is a selling point for returning delicate scientific samples or injured space station crew to the runway landing unavailable to capsules.

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