Space.com (July 19, 2010)
"Aerospace heavyweight Boeing is advancing plans for its new capsule-based spaceship, designed to ferry people to and from the International Space Station and future private space stations. The capsule design is part of an effort to fill the void that will be left by the 2011 retirement of NASA's space shuttle fleet.
"The new Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft (CST-100) is part of the company's $18 million award from NASA under the Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Space Act Agreement. The award aims to advance the concepts and technology required to build a commercial crew space transportation system.
"Boeing's capsule design is one of several efforts by different U.S. companies to develop the first private spaceship capable of flying humans to space. The push fits in with President Barack Obama's new plan for NASA, which calls for commercial spacecraft to take over the role vacated by the space shuttles of transporting astronauts to the space station...."
The Space.com article says that Boeing hopes to sell its CST-100 (Crew Space Transportation 100 kilometers up) to Bigelow Aerospace, as a ferry to the Bigelow Aerospace Orbital Space Complex. Bigelow's target date for opening its commercial space station is 2014.
Riding Boeing's CST-100 obviously won't be quite the same sort of experience as being a passenger in the company's new Dreamliner. The Boeing capsule is a much more utilitarian transport: but a few decades from now, when other companies have been following Bigelow's lead, I think we may see something a little closer to at least the airliners we have today, in terms of passenger experience.
'The Future isn't What it Used to Be' - Just as WellWhen I was growing up, decades back, I enjoyed stories of "the future." It's rather nice to see companies like Boeing, Blue Origin, and others building spaceships.
They don't all look like the comic-book spaceliners I remember, but that's okay. It'd be unrealistic to expect science fiction of the fifties and sixties to have been all that accurate. Besides, I wouldn't look all that good in a silver lamé jumpsuit.
- "Space Tourism and Virgin Galactic: Another Step"
(July 17, 2010)
- "Free Fall for the Fourth of July"
(July 2, 2010)
- "Last Space Shuttle Launch: More of a Beginning, Than an End"
(May 14, 2010)
- "Hypersonic Transports: Not Yet, But They're Coming"
(March 30, 2010)
- A few modifications, and these could 'fly' to orbit and back
- "Skylon: Spaceplane for 2019"
(March 12, 2009)
- "Blue Origin: Another Company Building Spaceships"
(February 27, 2010)
- "Bigelow Aerospace: Space to Rent or Lease, in Orbit"
(January 20, 2010)
- "America's Seventh Spaceport"
(January 19, 2010)
- "When it's Time to Build Spaceships, People Will Build Spaceships"
(October 4, 2009)
- "Alan Stern and Space Tourism"
(July 18, 2009)
- "Coming Soon to a Spaceport Near You"
(March 26, 2008)
- "Boeing CST-100 Spacecraft to Provide Commercial Crew Transportation Services"
Boeing press release (July 19, 2010)