The privately built Dream Chaser ‘space taxi’ had a successful first ever free-flight glide test on Saturday, Oct 26. Image © Sierra Nevada Corp. Take a look at the video…
The spaceplane that was damaged during its landing, is repairable and the program will go on, says the developer Sierra Nevada Corp., (SNC).
Above image: Left landing gear tire visibly failed to deploy as private Dream Chaser approaches runway at Edwards Air Force Base, Ca.
The Dream Chaser, a winged, lifting-body spacecraft that provides a flexible, credible, affordable solution for ISS crew transportation and a viable path to the future of human space flight operations for NASA, international and commercial space applications.
Dream Chaser First Free-Flight Approach-and-Landing Test
On October, 26, 2013 Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) performed its first free-flight approach-and-landing test of the Dream Chaser® 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.
source Sierra Nevada Corporation