Mini space shuttle skids off runway in test; damage minimal
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — 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 on Saturday tested a full-scale model at Edwards Air Force Base in California. 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 on Tuesday that damage was minor. The left gear was attached, and the tire wasn't 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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- FBI agent, 2 others sentenced in contractor kickback scheme in Utah
- Appalachian miners wiped out by coal glut they can’t reverse
- Supreme Court allows Obamacare’s Medicare costs board to stand
- Obama vetoes union election bill; streamlined election process to move forward
- Indiana governor wants changes to religious-objection law
- Experts skeptical of N.D.’s new oil train safety checks
- Benghazi panel formally requests private interview with Hillary
- Despite high gas costs, Northeast resistant to pipelines
- A bipartisan push on toxic chemicals makes some Democrats fume
- Florida church bus crash kills 8
- Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in D.C.