SpaceDev recently completed its first milestone under the Space Act Agreement that it signed with NASA in June 2007. This significant first milestone is to define the outer mold line (OML) of the SpaceDev Dream Chaser space vehicle. The SpaceDev team generated a surface model that will be used for future analysis, subscale flight test modeling, and full scale tooling of the Dream Chaser flight vehicle. The Dream Chaser OML surface model was derived from digitized scans of the original NASA Langley wind-tunnel tested models, which are currently on loan to SpaceDev.
SpaceDev entered into the Space Act Agreement with NASA's Johnson Space Center to facilitate its development of reliable, safe and affordable transportation of passengers and cargo to and from Earth orbit. As part of the agreement, NASA is providing support regarding commercial vehicle requirements for rendezvous and docking with the ISS as well as ongoing regularly scheduled technical exchange.
"The completion of this initial milestone demonstrates the value of the NASA Space Act Agreement program and how well the SpaceDev and NASA teams are working together to forward the SpaceDev Dream Chaser space system," said Mark N. Sirangelo, SpaceDev's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Sirangelo continued, "SpaceDev is proud to have completed a significant technical milestone and we are proceeding forward on schedule with our program."
The SpaceDev Dream Chaser space vehicle is a derivative of the HL-20 Launch System developed by NASA Langley. The vehicle has on-board propulsion utilizing SpaceDev's patented hybrid motor technology. This unique space transportation system is designed to effectively, reliably and safely carry crew/passengers and cargo in both the suborbital and orbital flight regimes. The SpaceDev Dream Chaser space vehicle can be adapted to various mission configurations including carrying up to six passengers, a combination of passengers and cargo, or a maximized cargo configuration. It is a piloted space solution which launches vertically and lands horizontally on conventional runways. Initial flight demonstrations are scheduled in 2009.