Orbital crew vehicle tested in Texas A&M's low-speed wind tunnel

Apr 30, 2012
Orbital crew vehicle tested in Texas A&M's low-speed wind tunnel

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems has successfully completed wind tunnel testing of a scale model of the Dream Chaser® orbital crew vehicle in the Oran W. Nicks Low Speed Wind Tunnel at Texas A&M University.

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 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,” said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC's Space Systems. "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."

Dr. Dimitris Lagoudas, head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, said, "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 testing of the scale model of the Dream Chaser®."

The Dream Chaser® team includes 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 Texas A&M.

"Texas A&M provided the foundation for us, as students, to excel in careers in . 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.

Explore further: NASA picks Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Company makes bid for space travel

Nov 17, 2005

Astronauts and passengers can go to space by 2008 if the company making the spaceship gets the funding, company officials said.

Next-generation US space racers outline plans

Apr 28, 2011

A handful of companies competing to make the spaceship to replace the iconic US shuttle said Thursday they are racing to shrink what will be a long gap in flying Americans into space aboard US craft.

Space shuttle program: Triumphs and tragedies

Jul 05, 2011

When NASA's 30-year-old space shuttle program is shuttered following the Atlantis mission in July, the University of Colorado Boulder will look back at a rich relationship filled with triumph and tragedy and ...

Recommended for you

Space: The final frontier... open to the public

45 minutes ago

Historically, spaceflight has been reserved for the very healthy. Astronauts are selected for their ability to meet the highest physical and psychological standards to prepare them for any unknown challenges. However, with ...

NASA releases IRIS footage of X-class flare (w/ Video)

45 minutes ago

On Sept. 10, 2014, NASA's newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, mission joined other telescopes to witness an X-class flare – an example of one of the strongest solar flares—on ...

NASA's Maven spacecraft reaches Mars this weekend

1 hour ago

Mars, get ready for another visitor or two. This weekend, NASA's Maven spacecraft will reach the red planet following a 10-month journey spanning 442 million miles (711 million kilometers).

Video: MAVEN set to slide into orbit around Mars

8 hours ago

A NASA mission to Mars led by the University of Colorado Boulder is set to slide into orbit around the red planet this week after a 10-month, 442-million mile chase through the inner solar system. 

User comments : 0