San Diego Composites delivers Dream Chaser cabin mockup

The composite structure is a full-scale pressurized cabin mockup that will be used to evaluate equipment placement and crew operations in the Dream Chaser spacecraft.

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San Diego Composites Inc. (SDC, San Diego, Calif., USA) reported on Nov. 26 that it has delivered the Dream Chaser spacecraft cabin mockup to Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC, Centennial, Colo., USA). The Dream Chaser is a next-generation commercial crew spacecraft funded as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program to transport crew and critical cargo to and from low-Earth orbit, including the International Space Station (ISS).

SNC's Dream Chaser spacecraft will be launched vertically atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and land horizontally on a commercial runway anywhere in the world.

The Dream Chaser cabin mockup is a full-scale pressurized cabin mockup that will be used to evaluate equipment placement and crew cabin operations in both the horizontal and vertical positions. SDC designed the cabin mockup in conjunction with SNC. In addition, SDC performed the analysis, materials testing and fabrication of the Dream Chaser cabin mockup. SDC also designed and manufactured the tooling for the fiberglass outer shell. The fiberglass outer shell houses structural support ribs and a removable floor. Ribs were co-molded to the fiberglass shell in trapped joints, which eliminated the need for hardware, resulting in reduced cost to SNC.