Washington, D.C. - The Commercial Spaceflight Federation applauds the team at Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems for the successful flight test of their Dream Chaser Engineering Test Article (ETA) at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. The first ever Dream Chaser approach and landing test was conducted to historic Runway 22, the same runway where the Space Shuttle Enterprise conducted its approach and landing tests. The Dream Chaser is the only lifting body vehicle in NASA's Commercial Crew Program; SNC is leveraging on lessons learned from the Space Shuttle and applying them directly to their program.
Following its release from a heavy-lift helicopter, the vehicle's flight control system autonomously steered the spacecraft throughout its intended approach and landing as planned. The SNC team gathered significant high-quality data during the test flight and the test met all its flight goals and objectives with the vehicle performing better than expected in flight. Due to an issue with deployment of part of the landing gear system, the vehicle experienced an anomaly on its roll out. SNC is currently assessing this but sees no long term schedule impact.
"This is an incredible achievement for SNC, and indicative of the great progress Commercial Crew companies are making to return to this country a capability for transporting crew to ISS from U.S. soil," said CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria. "Test flights like these are designed to push the boundaries and should be judged not only on what was accomplished, but also on what was learned. What's important is how the lessons are used to improve vehicle design and enhance safety. I'm looking forward to the next flight of Dream Chaser and the continuation of testing by SNC."
SNC Space Systems will post updates on www.SNCDreamChaser.com as they become available.
About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation
The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The CSF's member companies - which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers and service providers - are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Sirisha Bandla at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202.347.1418.