Автор frigate, 02.02.2010 12:49:16
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ЦитатаVirgin Galactic Joins Two CCDev Teams[/size]Dec 17, 2010 By Frank Morring, Jr.Virgin Galactic plans to market orbital flights for space tourists and scientists on two spaceplanes proposed under NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) effort, in the hope it can expand its business beyond the suborbital flights it is planning on its SpaceShipTwo vehicle.The company has signed on as a teammate with both Orbital Sciences Corp. and Sierra Nevada Corp. in the second round of competition for NASA seed money to develop commercial human spacecraft that can deliver crews to the International Space Station. The space agency is offering $200 million in this round."We are now very close to making the dream of suborbital space a reality for thousands of people at a cost and level of safety unimaginable even in the recent past," says Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic. "We know that many of those same people, including myself, would also love to take an orbital space trip in the future, so we are putting our weight behind new technologies that could deliver that safely whilst driving down the enormous current costs of manned orbital flight by millions of dollars."Both of Virgin's teammates are basing their CCDev entries on winged spaceplanes that will take off vertically atop an expendable launch vehicle and return to a gliding runway landing.Sierra Nevada, which won $20 million in the first CCDev competition to begin work on its Dream Chaser vehicle, will use the same hybrid-rocket technology that powers SpaceShipTwo, and has already built the tooling for its composite airframe."We are thrilled to have Virgin Galactic as part of our effort to make commercial orbital transportation a reality," says Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of Sierra Nevada Space Systems. "The knowledge gained in the development and promotion of the history-making SpaceShipTwo suborbital system will add considerably to our program."
ЦитатаA Private Space Shuttle ReplacementThe Dream Chaser will go into orbit on the nose of a rocket, then land gently on airport runways.http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/27094/?p1=A1&a=fOnce the space-shuttle program ends this year, the only way to get people into orbit and to the International Space Station will be to buy seats on Russia's three-person Soyuz capsules. So NASA, through its Commercial Crew Development program, has given $50 million in grants to companies developing new spacecraft capable of carrying people and supplies into orbit and to the space station.The recipient of the biggest chunk of this money was the Sierra Nevada Corporation, which received $20 million to develop the Dream Chaser. This spacecraft, the size of a business jet, will take cargo and up to eight people into low Earth orbit, where the space station is located, and then return and land on commercial airport runways. The company reached all its development milestones for the Dream Chaser last year and is now finishing a battery of tests on the craft's carbon-composite frame. The shell of the spacecraft must be able to endure heavy loads and intense vibrations. So the Dream Chaser frame has been mounted on an earthquake simulator in a lab at the University of Colorado in Boulder. So far, the design has performed as expected, says Mark Sirangelo, head of Sierra Nevada's Space Systems division. At facilities in San Diego, the company has been testing the craft's hybrid rocket motors. In the coming months, the company will put the two together to complete a full prototype, carry it into the air, and drop it to see how it flies.Other orbital spacecraft under development by companies including SpaceX and Boeing are capsules that will use parachutes to descend on land or in the sea. The Dream Chaser has a lifting body design; it looks something like an airplane without the large wings on the side. Another private company, Orbital Sciences, is also working on a space-shuttle-like lifting body craft. The Dream Chaser's shape, in combination with extensible wheels and motors, will enable it to make a controlled landing on a runway. Sirangelo says that the craft will therefore be able to land on the ground in more places than other vehicles can, and that the gravitational forces to which it will expose passengers--and sensitive cargo and scientific instruments--will be less intense.
ЦитатаBusinesses Take Flight, With Help From NASA[/size]By KENNETH CHANGPublished: January 31, 2011ASTRONAUT TRANSIT NASA provided $20 million for the development of the Dream Chaser, illustrated here docking at the International Space Station.BOULDER, Colo. -- Sitting in a testing facility at the University of Colorado, the inner shell of the Dream Chaser space plane looks like the fuselage of an old DC-3.The test structure has been pushed and pulled to see how it holds up to the stresses and strains of spaceflight. With an additional infusion of money from NASA, the company that makes the Dream Chaser, Sierra Nevada Space Systems, hopes to complete the rest of the structure and eventually take astronauts to orbit. "Our view is if we could stop buying from the Russians, if we could make life cheaper for NASA, and if we could build a few vehicles that do other things in low-Earth orbit that are valuable, isn't that, at the end of the day, a good thing?" said Mark N. Sirangelo, the company's chairman. The Dream Chaser is one of several new spacecraft that companies are hoping to launch into space with help from the government. Last year, the Obama administration pushed through an ambitious transformation for NASA: canceling the Ares I rocket, which was to be the successor to the current generation of space shuttles, and turning to the commercial sector for astronaut transportation. So far, most of the attention in this new commercial space race has focused on Boeing, which has five decades of experience building spacecraft, and Space Exploration Technologies Corporation -- SpaceX, for short -- a brash upstart that gained credibility last year with two launchings of its Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, a founder of PayPal and chief executive of Tesla Motors, already has a NASA contract for delivering cargo to the space station, and says that it can easily add up to seven seats to its Dragon cargo capsule to make it suitable for passengers. Boeing is also designing a capsule, capable of carrying six passengers, under the corporate-sounding designation of CST-100. But Boeing and SpaceX are not the only competitors seeking to provide space taxi services, a program that NASA calls commercial crew. Last year, in the first-round financing provided for preliminary development, Sierra Nevada Space Systems won the largest award: $20 million out of a total of $50 million. In December, another space company, Orbital Sciences Corporation, announced it had submitted a similar bid for a space plane it wants financed during the second round. NASA is to announce the winners by the end of March, and they will divide $200 million. About half of NASA's $19 billion budget goes toward human spaceflight -- the space shuttles, the International Space Station -- and $200 million this year is just a small slice. "If this is indeed the path to do this work, it's probably not what they should be putting into it," said Mr. Sirangelo, who is also chairman emeritus of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, a trade group. "But on the other hand, it's a lot more than we had before. And it's an acknowledgment there's momentum in the industry and what we're trying to accomplish. So that's good." After the second round, NASA would like narrow its choices down to two, maybe three, systems to finance. "We think this is in effect a one-year race to see who gets the furthest," Mr. Sirangelo said, "and at the end of that, presumably the next two years of the authorization bill gets funded, and then you compete for that pot of money." The blueprint for NASA, passed by Congress last year and signed into law by President Obama, calls for spending on commercial crew to rise to $500 million each year in 2012 and 2013. Senator Bill Nelson, the Florida Democrat who was one of the primary architects of the blueprint, as the authorization act was called, has said the intent was to provide $6 billion over six years. But what Congress puts into the budget could be far less. "They're not getting $6 billion over six years for commercial crew," said a Senate aide who was not authorized to speak for attribution. "That's never going to happen." The aide estimated commercial crew might receive half that much. In addition, Congress has not passed the final 2011 budget, and Mr. Obama wants to freeze spending at many federal agencies. Whether the freeze includes NASA will not be known until the president's 2012 budget request is released in two weeks. While Sierra Nevada has the lowest profile of the companies seeking commercial crew business, it is not new. The parent company, the Sierra Nevada Corporation, is a privately held defense electronics firm founded in 1963, and a few years ago, it bought several space companies and rolled them into the space systems subsidiary.The space systems subsidiary, located outside Denver, is the largest manufacturer in the United States of small satellites, Mr. Sirangelo said. The satellites, used for communications and other purposes, cannot do everything that large ones can do, but what they can do, they do more cheaply and more efficiently. The Dream Chaser embodies the same philosophy. "There are some tasks that can be done by smaller, cheaper vehicles that used to be done by very expensive vehicles," Mr. Sirangelo said. Mr. Sirangelo said the company had invested its own money into the Dream Chaser -- indeed, more than the $20 million that NASA has provided. Over the past year, the company has done a test-firing of the engines it plans to use on the Dream Chaser, and it dropped a scale model of the spacecraft from a helicopter to verify the aerodynamics. But it is a jump from making spacecraft components and small satellites to building a crew-carrying space plane, and where Sierra Nevada lacks in skills and experience, it has brought in other companies and institutions. Its Dream Chaser partners include Draper Laboratory, which has been designing spacecraft guidance systems since Apollo; NASA's Langley Research Center, which did much of the development that the Dream Chaser is based on; Boeing, which has also worked on space planes; and United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin that builds the Atlas V rocket that the Dream Chaser would ride atop. Virgin Galactic, the spacecraft division of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin empire, signed on as a strategic partner in December. Among the possible roles that Virgin could play is selling seats on the Dream Chaser. (Virgin signed a similar agreement with Orbital.) The design of the Dream Chaser also has a long lineage, inspired by a Soviet spacecraft. In 1982, an Australian reconnaissance airplane photographed a Russian trawler pulling something with stubby wings out of the Indian Ocean. It turned out to be a test flight of a space plane called the Bor-4, and the craft captured enough curiosity that engineers at NASA Langley copied it. NASA called its version the HL-20, and for a while in 1991, it looked to be the low-cost choice for taking astronauts to and from the space station. Then the NASA administrator who liked it, Vice Adm. Richard Truly of the Navy, left, and the man who replaced him, Daniel S. Goldin, thought it was not cheap enough and ended the work. The Dream Chaser design keeps the exact outer shape from the HL-20 -- a decision that allows Sierra Nevada to take advantage of years of wind tunnel tests that Langley had performed -- while modifying the design within. The biggest change is the addition of two engines, which reduces the number of passengers to seven from 10, but adds maneuverability. To finish developing the Dream Chaser would require less than $1 billion, Mr. Sirangelo said, and it could be ready to fly an orbital test flight in three years. He imagines that one flight could combine a number of tasks -- taking astronauts to the space station and then stopping on the return trip to repair or refuel a satellite. "This vehicle is perfectly designed to do all that," Mr. Sirangelo said.Officials at Orbital Sciences -- a company in Dulles, Va., that builds and launches rockets and satellites for everything from television broadcasts to scientific research -- say they are excited by the possibilities of commercial crew, but they are more cautious. Orbital, founded in 1982, was a survivor from the last boom-and-bust in commercial space. Its space plane design is a refinement of the HL-20. Following in the pattern of tapping Greek mythology for the names of its spacecraft, Orbital calls its plane Prometheus. Orbital says development of Prometheus would cost $3.5 billion to $4 billion, which would include the cost of upgrading the Atlas V rocket and two test flights. With enough financial support, David W. Thompson, chief executive of Orbital, is sure that his company can build and operate Prometheus. But he is less sure that his industry is at a tipping point for spaceflight to become much more common, driving down prices and opening up space to new businesses. "I think it depends on what the demand curve really is," Mr. Thompson said. "I would say I'm highly skeptical."
ЦитатаSierra Nevada Corporation [SNC]For the Technical Approach evaluation, SNC received a level of confidence of White. Strengths included:- significant operational capability of proposed concept; - heritage spacecraft design; - ground and flight features reduce operational costs, increase system efficiency, and mitigate risk; - on-orbit flight margin; - flexibility for optimizing crew and cargo up-mass and down-mass; - processes for identifying, evaluating, and documenting risks during CCDev 2 and for the overall program; - concept to retire system risks during CCDev 2; - thorough and logical maturation plan; - demonstrated understanding of NASA's draft human certification requirements; - dissimilar redundancy for critical flight phases; - NASA insight into most development activities. Weaknesses included:- failure to address the integration or human certification of the launch vehicle; - insufficient information to evaluate spacecraft reusability;- failure to identify risks associated with Centaur modifications; - failure to describe subsystem mass margins; - failure to address risks associated with motors; - insufficient detail on accommodation of de-conditioned crew members during entry and landing; - little improvement in Technology Readiness Levels during CCDev 2; - overly optimistic design schedule; - failure to identify the abort system development as a risk; - failure to demonstrate an effective and integrated S&MA organizational structure; - proposed timing of S&MA emphasis and integration; - failure to adequately describe association of standard S&MA processes with proposed performance milestones or major design milestones; - failure of proposed performance milestones to clearly demonstrate significant progress on design and development during CCDev 2.For the Business Information evaluation SNC received a level of confidence rating of White. Strengths included:- reasonable development and demonstration cost estimates, - teaming with experienced and knowledgeable suppliers. Weaknesses included:- lack of relevant human space flight experience; - failure to provide requested financial information; - lack of information on resources planned for CCDev 2 work.
ЦитатаThere are five Level of Confidence color ratings:Blue: Very High Level of Confidence -The proposal section is very highly effective and there is a very high likelihood of successful execution.Green: High Level of Confidence -The proposal section is highly effective and there is at least a high likelihood of successful execution.White: Moderate Level of Confidence -The proposal section is moderately effective and there is at least a moderate likelihood of successful execution.Yellow: Low Level of Confidence -The proposal section has low effectiveness or there is a low likelihood of successful execution.Red: Very Low Level of Confidence -The proposal section has very low effectiveness or there is a very low likelihood of successful execution.
ЦитатаЭто - спасательная шлюпка для ОС. Ничего общего с X-20 Dyna-Soar.
ЦитатаОдними из самых ключевых вопросов для такого КК, мне кажется, будут вопросы теплозащитного покрытия. Sierra Nevada по этому поводу ничего не говорила?
Цитатаpkl - Вы, может быть, лучше бы о размножающихся машинах размышляли.Или об айфонах, ей богу...
ЦитатаНу что Вы так развонялись?
ЦитатаВот так, ляпнув, не подумав и не проконсультировавшись с юристами, он создал на пустом месте конфликт. А сколько таких случаев было?
ЦитатаЯ же просто строю догадки.
ЦитатаSierra Nevada Details Drop Plan For Dream Chaser[/size]LOS ANGELES --Bolstered by its recent second-round NASA Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDev2) win to continue development of the Dream Chaser spaceship, Sierra Nevada Corp. is revealing new details of its plan to conduct full-scale drop tests in 2012 using the Scaled Composites-developed WhiteKnightTwo mothership.Sierra Nevada is one of the big winners in the second round of NASA's CCDev program, netting $80 million of the total $269.3 million payout aimed at maturing concepts for private spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station and other low Earth orbit destinations. Designed for a maximum crew of seven, the Dream Chaser is a lifting body spacecraft based on NASA's HL-20 crew vehicle, and will launch on an Atlas V.The atmospheric drop test of the full-scale vehicle, expected sometime in the second quarter of 2012, will asses handling qualities as well as stability and control during an unpowered descent to a conventional runway landing. The design of the low-speed flight control system is being fine-tuned after drop tests of a scale model were conducted in December at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center from a helicopter hovering over the dry lakebed at Edwards AFB, Calif.Preparations for firming up the drop test from WhiteKnightTwo, which will take place from an altitude of 45,000 ft., follow last December's announcement that Virgin Galactic is supporting the Dream Chaser development. Virgin Galactic also was included in Sierra Nevada's CCDev2 proposal. The large, four-engined carrier aircraft is in development for Virgin's SpaceShipTwo sub-orbital space tourism and science vehicle, but is being actively marketed for a range of other "mothership" drop test roles.New details of the Dream Chaser were revealed by Sierra Nevada Space Systems Group at the recent American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space Planes and Hypersonics conference in San Francisco. Integrated product team lead Russ Howard says the vehicle's hybrid rocket motor is undergoing further development work following testing for CCDev, which included three static firings in one day. "This included one vacuum start and a demonstration of a new pressure feed system," he says.The rocket, fueled by a combination of hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) and nitrous oxide, is designed "for flexibility, as it can be stopped, re-started and throttled to 100% for launch abort/escape, or 50% for fine control in nominal maneuvers. We're planning to throttle down as low as 50%, but we have demonstrated thrust down to 30% and its been very stable," Howard adds.The Dream Chaser is expected to have a cross-range capability of 1,700 km (1,000 mi.) and with a subsonic lift/drag ratio of 4:0, a "landing will be feasible on 7,000-foot runways," he says. However, with launches currently planned from Kennedy Space Center's SLC-41 launch pad (and possibly SLC-39B after conversion), the primary landing site is Cape Canaveral's 15,000-ft. main runway.Beyond atmospheric drop tests, further development plans include an un-piloted orbital test flight (OFT-1) boosted by an Atlas V, followed by a crewed OFT-2. The system is aiming for initial operational capability in 2015.
ЦитатаЦитатаОдними из самых ключевых вопросов для такого КК, мне кажется, будут вопросы теплозащитного покрытия. Sierra Nevada по этому поводу ничего не говорила?