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Sierra Nevada provides an update on the condition of its Dream Chaser test vehicle after this weekend’s glide flight and bad landing.
SNC has not yet decided whether to repair the Dream Chaser test craft, which does not use the same landing gear the orbital vehicle would use. Investigating what went wrong will take “a couple of weeks,” Sirangelo estimated. He said the vehicle, which is now in a hangar in Mojave, Calif., was “fully intact” after the crash.
“The pressure vessel was completely pristine, the computers are still working, there was no damage to the crew cabin or flight systems,” Sirangelo said. “I went inside it myself and it was perfectly fine. There was some damage from skidding.
“We learned everything we wanted to on this test, and learned more than we expected to learn,” Sirangelo said. “We believe we’ve got most of the data we need [but] I can’t honestly say, I just don’t know yet. It’s not going to affect our schedule in the long term [but] It might affect whether we do another free flight test this year or next year. We’re still assessing that.”
The company also claims that the flight met the requirements of a $15 million NASA milestone payment, since the goals of the flight were to test the vehicle’s flight capabilities, not its landing gear. (The failed landing gear used will not be the gear used on the final flight vehicle.)
They have scheduled a press conference for tomorrow. Stay tuned.