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Dream Chaser first flight delayed to ’22

Officials from Sierra Nevada today revealed they have now delayed the first flight of their mini-reusable Dream Chaser shuttle Tenacity until ’22 rather than late this year.

They claim the cause of the delay is the Wuhan flu.

Sierra Nevada has not announced when in 2022 Dream Chaser will attempt to make its first flight, but Lindsey described how pandemic restrictions prevented engineers from being on site for structural testing of the cargo model. Instead, engineers remotely oversaw the tests from a mission control center in Colorado. While the workaround allowed testing to continue, it took three or four times as long as it should have, Lindsey said.

Other delays came from supplier shutdowns due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Technical challenges not related to the pandemic also caused problems, though Lindsey did not elaborate. “All of those things have conspired to move the date a little bit,” Lindsey said.

The first issue is a management decision by the company. I note that SpaceX does not create these kinds of restrictions, and has therefore not experienced any slowdown in its launches or Starship development. It also appears to be experiencing no significant issues with COVID-19 infections.

The second issue is also in a sense a management decision. Sierra Nevada is subcontracting a lot of its work, and thus is at the mercy of other companies. Once again, SpaceX made a decision years ago to do as much as possible in-house. Thus, they are at no one’s mercy, and can push forward even as others cower in fear.

Overall, the pace of development at Sierra Nevada has not been impressive, but then, much of their work is being done by others, such as Lockheed Martin.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

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4 comments

  • jeff d

    Hello Mr Zimmerman, you are generous to place responsibility on the management at Sierra Nevada. I want to believe in Sierra Nevada; I like some of their efforts. They do have good engineers. Still, SpaceX is not waiting and the Chinese certainly will not wait. In that, I find hope. Boeing could upsize the X-37b by 2022 or even just re launch. So maybe sometime in 2022 Sierra Nevada will launch and the world will look upon it as if some third world person builds an airplane from parts found in an automobile junkyard. Obsolete, quaint, pathetic. Sierra Nevada is on the US All Star team; sad if that is the best we can do.

  • D. Messier

    They revealed this in November press conference.

  • Mitch S.

    I suppose Sierra Nevada has to work within budget constraints… but what’s going on with Blue Origin?
    Is 2021 going to be a breakout year, or will there be another decade of nice presentations and slow, incremental progress?

  • janyuary

    They are dealing with business climate where for just about everyone around them, employees’ cooperation is extorted from them: go along with it or be fired because the government will fine this business. Yes commerce has slowed down considerably. Employees who are forced to submit to this or lose employment, even though they may know or suspect it’s a bogeyman, there are those who nonetheless resent folks who can defy this tyranny and remain solvent.

    Of course C19 restrictions have slowed things down, and subcontractors suffer for it.
    I will be glad when men and women come to their senses and see through this ruse of C19 to squelch enterprise, worldwide.

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