Columbia Helicopters Drop Tests SNC’s Dream Chaser [VIDEO]

November 29, 2017


And Sierra Nevada Corporation has been one of our FEMAP support customers for nearly as long. It seems that we see at least a few folks from Sierra Nevada Corporation at every one of our FEMAP training classes. We have worked with SNC for years as their team members have progressed from static stress analysis, to programming and automation of modeling and postprocessing, to full transient-dynamic analysis of bird strike scenarios.


Currently SNC’s Dream Chaser is in full-on testing mode in preparation for regularly delivering contracted cargo for NASA beginning in 2019. The craft is scheduled to fly around six cargo delivery missions to and from the International Space Station by 2024.


The spacecraft will be able to land glider-style on Earth, like the former Space Shuttle crafts, and bring back science experiments and other items from the station. However its reaction control system thrusters are slated to burn ethanol-based fuel, which is not an explosively volatile material, nor toxic like hydrazine, allowing the Dream Chaser to be handled immediately after landing, unlike the Space Shuttle.

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