AdamWorks featured in 9 News video about our Shuttle replacement test vehicle. Watch the video below.
In its Commercial Crew Program, NASA has contracted with several companies to design, build, test and fly various vehicles to deliver supplies and people to the International Space Station and deliver astronauts to low-orbit missions.
One of those companies – Sierra Nevada – has been working on its vehicle the Dream Chaser since at least 2004. The vehicle is designed to be reusable, launch atop a Centennial-based United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket vertically and land horizontally like an airplane.
It is designed to carry up to seven people in its internal cabin, and according to designers, it even has a docking point on its rear so it can link up to the space station.
According to NASA, the flight-test vehicle of the Dream Chaser is a full-scale prototype of the company’s planned winged spacecraft. Vehicle designers say it is about 26-feet long, 10-feet wide and 8-feet high.
The test vehicle arrived in Louisville last week, and workers will now finish assembly and install the rest of its flight systems before its test launch at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.
According to NASA, the first test would be a drop from a helicopter or airplane – that is scheduled for late this year. The vehicle would still have to undergo a suborbital test in 2013 and an orbital test in 2014 before it becomes operational.
In addition to the role of Colorado’s Sierra Nevada office, a small business in south Denver has played a huge role in the development of Dream Chaser.
Centennial-based Adam Works worked with Sierra Nevada to design the composite and flight structures and also did all of the carbon fiber work on the internal pressure vessel.
Adam Works is a small, veteran-owned engineering and manufacturing company. The company was founded with just two people in 2007 and because of its specialties and growing privatization of the space industry, it now employs over 30 people and says it is growing rapidly.