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Monday, November 28, 2011

Come home to Virginia 'Dream Chaser'

A spacecraft of the future could have its roots in a "space taxi" concept called the HL-20, developed at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Sierra Nevada, the company designing the Dream Chaser as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Development program, this past summer thanked the engineers who came up with the HL-20 and studied it 20 years ago - before the project was canceled.

The Virginia-based vision vehicle, the Dream Chaser should be mated to an Atlas-V and launched from Wallops Island, Va. in this decade. That is the best way to salute the Virginians at NASA Langley who worked the vehicle from concept to model for today's engineers to complete and fly.


Doug Mohney said...

Ignore the penalty hit to orbit from launching at Wallops vs. Florida.

Don't suppose you've crunched the numbers on 1) Building the pad and support facilities for Atlas V and 2) Additional cost for shipping Atlas V up the East Coast?

Now, tell me how you find the money when Congress can't even cough up $850 million this year for CCDev.

JackKennedy said...

There is no penalty "hit" by launching to LEO ISS from Wallops. There may be a more payload and less fuel bonus.

Have you viewed the two new launch pads on Wallops Island operated by the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority?

I am confident Virginia can handle an Atlas-V 402. What makes you so sure that Virginia can not?

Good old fashion competition is what made America strong. Florida needs the competition to avoid the monopoly status associated with human spaceflight in the 20th century. We are in the Commercial Space Age, so they say. In my book that includes commercial launch pads and range too!

Virginians are taking more of a leadership role in the Congress, especially in the House. There is another budget year starting in 2012. Time will help sort it out. We need to position Flordia and Virginia to have a more friendly competition going into the future.