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NASA Space Science

Boeing Shows Off First Commercial Spacecraft 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the lost-luggage-in-space dept.
coondoggie writes "Boeing today released the first public glimpse of the commercial spacecraft it is working on under an $18 million contract with NASA. Boeing's Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 can hold seven crew and will be bigger than Apollo but smaller than NASA's Orion, and be able to launch on a variety of different rockets, including Atlas, Delta and Falcon.The company envisions the spacecraft supporting the International Space Station and future Bigelow Aerospace Orbital Space Complex systems. Bigelow is building what it calls 'expandable habitats,' that which are inflatable spacecraft would act as large, less costly space stations."
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Boeing Shows Off First Commercial Spacecraft

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  • by UncleBex (176073) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:41PM (#32986058)

    Interesting that Boeing has finally weighed in with something new for human space transport and that their offering looks very much like a commodity product. Somewhat surprising for such a larger organization that is used to fat government contracts with no competition past the initial bidding. That the capsule will be able to launch on a variety of rockets will hopefully be a boon to the budding commercial space industry. My only fear is that this is a Microsoft-type extend and embrace move to smother the pesky upstarts in the field (e.g. SpaceX, Armadillo, etc.).

    Regardless, it is nice to see that the government and private sectors will soon have an ability to choose, it sure beats the old system.

  • by Pennidren (1211474) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:53PM (#32986116)
    I think the bad summary is supposed to mean Boeing's first. It was worth saving the 3 extra letters, though!
  • by thesandtiger (819476) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:54PM (#32986120)

    ... And I was under the impression Boeing wouldn't even get out of bed for that much, you know?

    On the subject of money... There are people who are billionaires to the point where they could easily drop 5, 10 billion bucks on space - why hasn't anyone REALLY wealthy done that?

  • by StefanJ (88986) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:56PM (#32986130) Homepage Journal

    Just looking at it . . . wow, inspirational! Like a soaring eagle caught in a trash can, or a supersonic fighter melted down and used to cast an extrusion mold for dog treats.

  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:57PM (#32986134)

    Regardless, it is nice to see that the government and private sectors will soon have an ability to choose, it sure beats the old system.

    Well, it's not like they've actually done more than draw a couple of not-terribly-pretty pictures of their hypothetical spacecraft.

    All we're really seeing here is what Boeing promises to build if the Feds will give them a buttload of money to do the real engineering required.

    Note one key difference between the "previous system" and this announcement - Shuttle actually exists as something more than an advertising brochure....

  • by sznupi (719324) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:16PM (#32986252) Homepage

    Shuttle actually exists as something more than an advertising brochure....

    Does it? The existing vehicle is quite a bit off from what was advertised.

  • by sohp (22984) <snewton&io,com> on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:21PM (#32986278) Homepage

    If I were SpaceX founder Elon Musk, I'd be hopping mad right now. After developing Falcon9 and Dragon on the basis of a truly competitive commercial space program, the porkbarrel senators for aerospace/defense contractor states wrote a new NASA budget to basically hand money over to Boeing and the rest of the usual cast of trough-feeders to continue but with changes and more delays the Ares/Orion program. This craft will see about as much reality as the Orion did before Boeing is behind schedule and over budget and requests yet more money.

    The whole goal is to crowd out the smaller guys while maintaining the jobs programs in states like Washington, Utah, and Florida.

    Did anyone notice that they don't say where they are going in this capsule? Where are the senators who called Obama's proposed budget a mission to nowhere? This new NASA program doesn't have a destination, either, but at least the dollars keep flowing to the same interests.

  • by sznupi (719324) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:28PM (#32986308) Homepage

    Not dropping money right and left, on any fun looking stuff, might be an important part of becoming a billionaire.

    Anyway, some of them do what you ask for, just in a bit more frugal way - SpaceX and Bigelow, for example.

  • by sznupi (719324) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:34PM (#32986350) Homepage

    Relax a bit. Bigelow is involved with thise Boeing capsule; seems they want a competition in servicing their stations.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:32AM (#32988444) Journal
    When /. first started, this article would have had 100-300 responses. The same is true of any OS type article. Yet, now it is non-intellectual articles such as facebook, pot, and job's statements, that garner the big discussions. It looks like the techs have left the building.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:36AM (#32988476)
    This is just moderator abuse. He's not trolling, he's absolutely right. Shuttle is restricted to LEO, takes MONTHS to turn around, spends at least a day out of every mission checking tiles, has only launched ~130 times in 30 years, and 40% of the fleet has experienced fatal crashes. It hasn't come within 5 AU of the hype from back when it was first proposed.
  • by CraftyJack (1031736) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:42AM (#32988520)
    In other words, Boeing is a lot more savvy to how the aerospace market actually works, as opposed to how we would like it to work.
  • by camperdave (969942) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @10:18AM (#32989666) Journal
    for a horizontal landing on a runway, you need wings

    True, but there's no reason they can't be packed away until needed. [dutchspace.nl]

    the space shuttle orbiter is 68 freakin tonnes empty, and 78 tonnes with the engines installed, and a extra 24 tonnes for actual payload

    All of which means diddly-squat. The space shuttle is not a crew capsule that sits atop a launch vehicle. The space shuttle *IS* the launch vehicle. As such, it is a completely different beast. Apart from the one characteristic of landing on a runway, it has almost nothing in common with an HL-42/X-38 style vehicle.

Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine

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