Wind tunnel testing of a scale model of the Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle has been completed in the Oran W. Nicks Low Speed Wind Tunnel at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Aerodynamic data generated from this testing, coupled with data from computer simulations, will define the characteristics of the Dream Chaser lifting body vehicle during the approach and landing phase of flight. This information will assist Sierra Nevada Corporation engineers in preparing for the Dream Chaser vehicle’s first free flight test scheduled for the third quarter of this year.
“The Dream Chaser Program thanks the Texas A&M wind tunnel team for their support of this testing, which produced results that exceeded our expectations. As the only lifting body vehicle currently funded by NASA under the Commercial Crew Development Program, we are thankful for the opportunity to verify our computational data in such an advanced facility. This is an important step in preparing for the vehicle's first free flight,” said Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President of SNC's Space Systems.
"The Department of Aerospace Engineering has been privileged to work with high caliber engineers from Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems and to be part of the wind tunnel testing of the scale model of the Dream Chaser," added Dr. Dimitris Lagoudas, head of the University's Department of Aerospace Engineering.
The Dream Chaser team is proud to include several Texas A&M graduates. Dr. Merri Sanchez, Senior Director of Space Exploration Systems, and John Curry, Director of Systems Integration, Test, and Operations for the Dream Chaser both attribute their success in advancing the field of human spaceflight to their experience as students at the University. "Texas A&M provided the foundation for us, as students, to excel in careers in aerospace engineering. We are proud to be working with the University on the Dream Chaser Program, they are providing critical data that will inform the future of manned spaceflight," said Sanchez and Curry in a joint statement.
About Sierra Nevada Corporation
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is known for its rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, aerospace, avionics, space, propulsion, micro-satellite, aircraft and communications systems for both the private and public sectors. Founded in 1963, SNC’s seven unique business areas employs approximately 2000 people in 35 different locations in 20 states – all of whom are dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to SNC’s dynamic customer base.
Over its 45 year history, 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. SNC has grown into one of the Top Woman-Owned Federal Contractors in the United States while maintaining its reputation for innovation and agility. The company continues to focus its growth on the commercial sector through internal advancements and outside acquisitions, including the emerging markets of telemedicine, nanotechnology, energy and net-centric operations.
For more information on SNC visit www.SNCSpace.com