The full, second Integration Certification Milestone—within six week of the first major milestone's advance—demonstrates the Dream Chaster team is moving at full-speed to meet NASA's cargo delivery needs, reported Steve Lindsey, the Senior Director of Programs for Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Space Systems business unit and the co-program manager of the Dream Chaster program.
NASA assessed and fully approved SNC’s detailed approach for getting the Dream Chaser Cargo System to the International Space Station (ISS). Dream Chaser will provide a minimum of six cargo delivery missions to and from the ISS between 2019 and 2024. The first milestone was passed several weeks ago and outlined technical, logistic and schedule procedures for the program.
Completion of Milestone 2 means NASA and SNC collectively agree on the certification criteria used to confirm Dream Chaser designs meet CRS-2 mission requirements. These qualification and verification plans will be used during future integrated design and test milestones to validate Dream Chaser Cargo System capabilities.
The current flight vehicle has been upgraded with several cargo system design components to support multiple test objectives - verifying the spacecraft’s performance during final approach and landing, directly supporting the CRS-2 Certification Plan approved during Milestone 2. This will ultimately accelerate development of the first orbital mission and increase confidence through flight-tested systems.
The vehicle was originally developed and tested in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which included a full-test campaign at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center leading up to the October 2013 approach and landing test.