Tour of Boeing's CST-100 Spaceliner to LEOJune 13th, 2014 by Ken Kremer in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
Boeing’s commercial CST-100 ‘Space Taxi’ will carry a crew of five astronauts to low Earth orbit and the ISS from US soil. Mockup with astronaut mannequins seated below pilot console and Samsung tablets was unveiled on June 9, 2014 at its planned manufacturing facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer
On Monday, June 9, Boeing revealed the design of their CST-100 astronaut spaceliner aimed at restoring Americas ability to launch our astronauts to low-Earth orbit (LEO) and the International Space Station (ISS) by 2017.
The full scale CST-100 mockup was unveiled at an invitation only ceremony for Boeing executives and media held inside a newly renovated shuttle era facility at the Kennedy Space Center where the capsule would start being manufactured later this year.
The CST-100 is a privately built manrated capsule being developed with funding from NASA under the auspices of the agency's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) in a public/private partnership between NASA and private industry.
The vehicle will be assembled inside the refurbished processing hangar known during the shuttle era as Orbiter Processing Facility-3 (OPF-3). Boeing is leasing the site from Space Florida.
Boeing is one of three American aerospace firms vying for a NASA contract to build an American 'space taxi' to ferry US astronauts to the space station and back as soon as 2017.
The SpaceX Dragon and Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser are also receiving funds from NASA commercial crew program.
NASA will award one or more contracts to build Americas next human rated spaceship in August or September.
Since the forced shutdown of NASA's Space Shuttle program following its final flight in 2011, US astronauts have been 100% dependent on the Russians and their cramped but effective Soyuz capsule for rides to the station and back – at a cost exceeding $70 million per seat.
Chris Ferguson, the final shuttle commander for NASA's last shuttle flight (STS-135) now serves as director of Boeing's Crew and Mission Operations.
Ferguson and the Boeing team are determined to get Americans back into space from American soil with American rockets.
Provided by Universe Today
"Tour of Boeing's CST-100 Spaceliner to LEO." June 13th, 2014. http://phys.org/news/2014-06-boeing-cst-spaceliner-leo.html