Published: Jan. 16, 2018

  • Year: 2010
  • Participants: Jason Hinkle (Sierra Nevada Corporation), Eric Stauffer, Sivaselven, Kent Polkinghorne, Nate Bailey
  • Summary: The Dream Chaser reusable spacecraft prototype was load tested in two configurations to validate analytical models of the vehicle. In the first, the modular test system was configured to apply loads to the landing gear struts in a simulation of touchdown during landing.  For the second, the test system was configured to apply loads to the connections for the solid rocket motors in a simulation of ascent to orbit. Over 200 strain gauges and other displacement and force instrumentation were used during loading and compared in real time to model predictions. Engineers monitored the comparisons and were able to halt the test if localized strains were exceeding safety limits.

Group photo in front of the Dream Chaser

Strain gages and other instrumentation being applied to dream chaser

rear view of Dream Chaser

Side view of Dream Chaser