Sierra Nevada Corporation drop tested the Dream Chaser spacecraft from a helicopter on Saturday. Preliminary reports indicate that it suffered some damaged while landing. It is unclear what was the extent of the damage. Some reports even said the vehicle flipped after the landing gear failed. The official report follows:
“Sparks, NV – October 26, 2013 – Today, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) performed its first free-flight approach-and-landing test of the Dream Chaser® spacecraft. The vehicle successfully released from its carrier aircraft, an Erickson Air-Crane helicopter, as planned at approximately 11:10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Following release, the Dream Chaser spacecraft automated flight control system gently steered the vehicle to its intended glide slope. The vehicle adhered to the design flight trajectory throughout the flight profile. Less than a minute later, Dream Chaser smoothly flared and touched down on Edwards Air Force Base’s Runway 22L right on centerline. While there was an anomaly with the left landing gear deployment, the high-quality flight and telemetry data throughout all phases of the approach-and-landing test will allow SNC teams to continue to refine their spacecraft design. SNC and NASA Dryden are currently reviewing the data. As with any space flight test program, there will be anomalies that we can learn from, allowing us to improve our vehicle and accelerate our rate of progress. Please continue to monitor, www.SNCDreamChaser.com, for more information.” -Sierra Nevada Corp.