October 18, 2011 – 13th Edition

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MSRP President’s Message

Dear MSRP Members,

 Dream_Chaser_Space_System

Dream Chaser Space System

Our annual meeting on November 18th marks the completion of my two year term and I will turn over the control of the Pioneers to the new President. These two years have been challenging.

Earlier this year, we surveyed the membership on their vision for MSRP. Receiving a strong response, most members surveyed enjoy attending functions from time to time but would like someone else to run the club and plan and organize events. One idea put forward was to develop a closer relationship with the Florida Institute of Technology. At last year’s Fall Banquet, we had nearly twenty students from the Florida Tech Rocket Club attend to learn about SpaceX, our keynote speaker. So, we formed a committee to see how we could strengthen our relationship FIT. The result is an agreement for the club to fund two student projects and to hold our fall event at the Florida Tech campus in Melbourne.

I believe a worthwhile purpose like this will give Pioneers everywhere another reason to become new members and participate in MSRP. Our renewed relationship with Florida Tech promises many opportunities for our Pioneers to engage with students and help cultivate America’s future pioneers. If you like what you see I hope you will help us get the word out. I am excited about this renewed direction and purpose for the Pioneers. Please come out to our Fall Event and meet the students, learn about their projects and what is going on Florida Tech.

Finally, I would like to thank our hardworking officers and board of directors. John Hesterman and Bill Bancroft are retiring from the board this year, after serving for many years. Both have worked tirelessly for the Pioneers along with the rest of the directors and all of them seldom miss a meeting. So, many thanks to John and Bill, as well as Frank, Don, Doug, Hank, Chuck and Lee for the strong support and leadership you have given the club.

Jim Lewis, President


Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser

Dream Chaser Orbiter

Dream Chaser Orbiter

Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser Space System is designed as a low-cost, safe commercial crew and cargo transportation to and from low Earth orbit, including the International Space Station. The Dream Chaser vehicle is a reusable, composite lifting body spacecraft based on a former NASA design – the HL-20 crew vehicle. The spacecraft will launch vertically and land horizontally on a conventional runway. The system, capable of carrying seven crew and critical cargo is planned to enter operational service by 2015.

The Dream Chaser, which is now under full production, is designed as a piloted or autonomous spacecraft travelling to and from low earth orbit and returning safely to the Earth without excessive deceleration or landing forces. The spacecraft design includes a built-in pusher launch escape system. Additionally, the reaction control system thrusters are designed to use ethanol as fuel. As such, the vehicle uses no hazardous materials, so it can be approached immediately after landing. The vehicle experiences less than 1.5 g on re-entry and can fly autonomously if needed to. Its thermal protection system (TPS) is a tile with an ablative coating that is being worked on with NASA’s Ames center. This approach reduces risk to deconditioned crew and delicate science experiment return samples through a low G landing on a runway.

SNC plans to launch Dream Chaser on a man-rated United Launch Alliance Atlas V 402 launch vehicle. The spacecraft will use on-board propulsion utilizing SNC’s proprietary hybrid rocket motor technology.

Dream Chaser with  Space Station

Dream Chaser with
Space Station

In June 2011, Sierra Nevada announced completion of two significant milestones as part of the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) Program. Under the CCDev2 program, SNC will conduct multiple spacecraft hardware milestones and other development activities over the next year, culminating in a systemlevel Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and preparation for atmospheric flight test of the Dream Chaser.

In June 2011, Sierra Nevada announced completion of two significant milestones as part of the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) Program. Under the CCDev2 program, SNC will conduct multiple spacecraft hardware milestones and other development activities over the next year, culminating in a systemlevel Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and preparation for atmospheric flight test of the Dream Chaser.

The first milestone completed under the CCDev2 program was a Systems Requirement Review (SRR) that validated requirements based on NASA’s draft Commercial Crew Program Requirements. All the requirements were approved and are being used to guide the design of the Dream Chaser to ensure it meets the pending NASA certification requirements. The second milestone was completed two weeks after Milestone 1. This milestone was a review of the selection of the improved airfoil fin shape to be used on the Dream Chaser. This new fin will improve the handling qualities of the spacecraft as it flies in the atmosphere on return from space to a gentle runway landing. Wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics analyses were used to complete the fin selection milestone work.”


NETWORKING EVENT – DECEMBER 7, 2011

On December 7th at 4 p.m., the Missile Space and Range Pioneers are co-sponsoring an afternoon social at Fish Lips at Port Canaveral with the National Space Club of Florida. Come join us for this networking event that will bring the next generation of Space Leaders together. The cost is $5 and you get food, drinks and surprises! See you there!


Supporting Future Rocket and Engineering Pioneers

MSRP Board of Directors meet with Ms. Gretchen Sauerman, Florida Tech’s Director of Corporate Giving

MSRP Board of Directors meet with Ms. Gretchen Sauerman, Florida Tech’s Director of Corporate Giving

Those of you who attended the Missile, Space and Range Pioneers (MSRP) 2010 Fall Rocket Reunion may remember that our attendance was increased by some 18 or so FIT students who attended this banquet event. They were there for two reasons – first, they were interested in rocketry like all our Pioneers’ members, and second, they were there to hear our featured speaker Scott Henderson’s presentation on Space X’s activities at the Cape and for potential job opportunities with this company. Their presence was important since the Pioneers event attendance has declined over the past three years.

The FIT students’ presence at this event caused your Pioneers Board members to consider some type of interaction with FIT. A special committee of Board members initially met with the FIT’s Dr. Dan Kirk, the head of FIT’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering to investigate how MSRP might best support the FIT engineering students. In the last three Pioneers Board Meetings, discussions with FIT representatives refined our support initiative. MSRP will support two student aerospace engineering projects with total funding of $5000 for the current student year. First, the Pioneers will provide $4000 to the FIT student engineering team Lunabotics Project. This team is entering NASA’s Lunabotics mining competition whose purpose is to design and build a remote controlled or autonomous lunabot. The lunabot or lunar robot must be capable of collecting a minimum of 10 kilograms of lunar stimulant and depositing it in a raised bin within a 15 min. time limit while navigating around obstacles including craters, rocks and small hills.

FIT-StudentsSecond the Pioneers will provide $1000 to two student teams to help support their design and launch of two Hybrid Rocket and Motor Systems – one to achieve a precise altitude of 2000 feet and the other to achieve the maximum altitude with a specific hybrid motor thrust. The purpose of these two projects is to increase the interest of lower division students in rocketry and research. These teams of 13 and 15 students will compete in the FL Space Grant Consortium/NE FL Association of Rocketry Hybrid Motor High Power Rocket Competition. In the past five years, the FIT student teams have taken 1st place in at least on or both of the completion objectives.

The student teams will give a brief status report on their projects at our 2011 Fall Rocket Reunion which will be held on the FIT campus. So come and hear how the future Pioneers in rocketry and aerospace research are doing. Both the student teams and the MSRP need your support.