Sierra Nevada reveals that its Dream Chaser engineering test vehicle survived its bad landing in weekend in reasonably good shape.


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Sierra Nevada reveals that its Dream Chaser engineering test vehicle survived its bad landing this weekend in reasonably good shape.

After lining up on the runway, the spacecraft’s nose landing skid and right main landing gear deployed normally about 200 feet off the ground. But the left main gear hung up for some reason. Sirangelo said the software issued the proper commands, leading engineers to suspect a mechanical problem of some sort.

The landing gear in the test vehicle were taken from an F-5 training jet and will not be used on operational versions of the Dream Chaser.

In any case, the Dream Chaser’s flight software responded to the unbalanced load at touchdown, keeping the spacecraft’s left wing off the ground as long as possible. But it eventually came down and the craft skidded off the runway in a cloud of dust. [emphasis mine]

They should release the video. If the vehicle’s software was able to keep the vehicle stable, even as it was speeding down a runway short one wheel, this would impress people. Not releasing video of this only feeds the doubts people have.

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4 comments

  • mpthompson

    If the craft survived in reasonably good shape, would that also indicate it would have been a survivable crash had people been on board? If so, that might also be impressive.

    Hopefully more information and videos will be released soon. Sierra Nevada stressing this is hard work, but they can roll with the punches wpuld be more reassuring than the “nothing to see here, move along” typically given by PR flacks.

  • Click on the link. The company specifically stated that any crew would have survived, probably uninjured.

  • joe

    I liked the fuzzy dice hanging from the ceiling, good luck charm? engineers being superstitious?

  • K Mike B

    They won’t be there next flight, perhaps a pair of baby shoes?

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