Mini space shuttle skids off runway in test flight - New York News

Mini space shuttle skids off runway in test flight

Posted: Updated:

By MARCIA DUNN

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A new, smaller version of NASA's space shuttle is recuperating from a rough first landing.

The Dream Chaser space plane is being designed by Sierra Nevada Corp. It's vying to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station in four or five more years.

The Nevada-based company tested a full-scale model at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Saturday. A helicopter dropped the unmanned craft from 12,500 feet in a first free flight reminiscent of NASA's drop tests of the shuttle prototype Enterprise in the 1970s.

Everything worked well for the automated Dream Chaser model until the end, when the left landing gear deployed too late and the test vehicle skidded off the runway.

Company space systems chief Mark Sirangelo said Tuesday that damage was minor. The left gear was still attached and the tire wasn't even shredded, he said. The crew cabin area was unscathed — astronauts would have been uninjured, he said. The flight computers never stopped working, and nothing critical was damaged.

Sirangelo stressed that the minute-long test flight was a success despite the ending.

He said the mishap is likely due to mechanical failure; an investigation is underway. He said it shouldn't hold up plans for a piloted landing test next year. The landing gear is derived from F-5 fighter planes and not the same type that will be used in space.

The test vehicle will be repaired and may fly again, Sirangelo told reporters during a teleconference.

Sierra Nevada — one of several U.S. companies hoping to carry NASA astronauts into orbit — plans the first orbital flight demo of Dream Chaser in 2016 and the first crewed orbital mission in 2017.

NASA already is relying on private industry to ship cargo to the space station, a vacancy created by the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011. Until American companies provide a safe spaceship for crews, NASA will continue to fly its astronauts on Russian Soyuz capsules — for hefty prices.

___

Online:

Sierra Nevada: http://www.sncspace.com/ss_space_exploration.php

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Aire Ancient Baths

    A relaxing bathhouse in busy Tribeca

    A relaxing bathhouse in busy Tribeca

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:29 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:29:51 GMT
    Deep beneath the hustle and bustle of Tribeca lies a modern-day oasis brimming with old world charm: Aire Ancient Baths, my new favorite city escape. The breathtaking spa is illuminated by hundreds of candles and smells of invigorating eucalyptus. For around $80 you can bathe in the tranquil blue pools for 90 minutes and find the temperature that's right for you.
    Deep beneath the hustle and bustle of Tribeca lies a modern-day oasis brimming with old world charm: Aire Ancient Baths, my new favorite city escape. The breathtaking spa is illuminated by hundreds of candles and smells of invigorating eucalyptus. For around $80 you can bathe in the tranquil blue pools for 90 minutes and find the temperature that's right for you.
  • NYC stores with no signs feed curiosity

    NYC stores with no signs feed curiosity

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:40 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:40:09 GMT
    From coffee shops in Brooklyn to restaurants in Manhattan, we find speakeasies standing out by blending in. When people in Bushwick want a green machine juice blend they visit Leticia Castillo's Owl Juice Pub. But first they must find the owl. "We been doing fine without a sign," Castillo says.
    From coffee shops in Brooklyn to restaurants in Manhattan, we find speakeasies standing out by blending in. When people in Bushwick want a green machine juice blend they visit Leticia Castillo's Owl Juice Pub. But first they must find the owl. "We been doing fine without a sign," Castillo says.
  • NY brothers invent machine that makes CPR easier

    NY brothers invent machine that makes CPR easier

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:40:57 GMT
    Only 10 percent of people who get CPR from a bystander actually survive. But two young men in Westchester County have now patented a device that could dramatically increase those odds and save lives. John and Chris DiCapua's sitting room in their parents' Westchester County home has had a unique guest lying around for quite a while now: a CPR dummy. What began as an idea from their time as Boy Scouts is now a device that could potentially save lives.
    Only 10 percent of people who get CPR from a bystander actually survive. But two young men in Westchester County have now patented a device that could dramatically increase those odds and save lives. John and Chris DiCapua's sitting room in their parents' Westchester County home has had a unique guest lying around for quite a while now: a CPR dummy. What began as an idea from their time as Boy Scouts is now a device that could potentially save lives.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices