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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 jfruhlinger (470035) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:13PM (#32986238) Homepage

    That second article has a cutaway view of what it would look like inside w/astronauts in it, to give you a sense of scale. Jesus, they're sure crammed in there, aren't they? What would the point of putting in so many people that they could barely move be? I suppose this thing isn't really for Shuttle-style science, just getting people to and from space stations, so they'd only have to be packed in like that for a day or two at a time...

  • by camperdave (969942) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:25AM (#32986752) Journal
    Well, they're kind of crammed on the Dragon [spacex.com], too.

    I'd much rather see an HL-42 [astronautix.com] styled craft. Give me a horizontal landing, on an actual runway. None of this splashing down in the ocean and waiting for the flippin' navy to rescue you.
  • by FleaPlus (6935) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:10AM (#32991270) Journal

    It would seem that the $18 million was to draw the picture & maybe a mockup or two.

    Actually, there's a fair bit more of that Boeing will have to accomplish if they want the full milestone-based payments, if you look at the Space Act agreement [nasaspaceflight.com] they signed with NASA:

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/444144main_NNJ10TA03S_boeing_saa.pdf [nasa.gov]

    Boeing/Bigelow ($18M): trade study and down-select between pusher-type and tractor-style LAS, system definition review, Abort System Hardware Demonstration Test, Base Heat Shield Fabrication Demonstration, Avionics Systems Integration Facility demonstration, CM Pressure Shell Fabrication Demonstration, Landing System Demonstration (drop test and water uprighting test), Life Support Air Revitalization demonstration, AR&D hardware/software demonstration, Crew Module Mockup demonstration. It also explicitly mentions that the capsule is designed for Atlas, Delta, and Falcon 9 launch vehicles

    Although the crew capsule has been receiving most of the attention, if anything the escape system is the more difficult and costlier part to develop. Although the Russians have extensive experience with them, nobody in the US has built a capsule-based escape system since the 60s or 70s. SpaceX, Boeing, and Blue Origin are also working on developing novel "push-based" (rather than the typical tractor-based) escape systems, and I'm curious if they'll end up consolidating their efforts if Congress doesn't come through with sufficient commercial crew development funding.

    Finally, I don't think anybody's yet posted the video of the CST-100 (it's somewhat rudimentary, but does the job of depicting the basic architecture):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mn_gXEK5XmQ [youtube.com]

  • by tiqui (1024021) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @10:00PM (#32999324)

    Looks like they just dusted-off one of the old ACRV (Assured Crew Return Vehicle) designs for ISS from the 1990s. IIRC, Boeing proposed a slightly larger Apollo capsule (they got the Apollo IP from their acquisition of North American) with new docking port and mini service module as an ISS lifeboat. What's cheaper than a little napkin engineering followed by some drawings and a powerpoint? why, re-using some napkin engineering, updating a powerpoint and doing a new CG version of a drawing, of course!

    move along

    nothing new to see here

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