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Space ISS Transportation

Boeing Employees To Man CST-100 Crew Capsule 77

Posted by timothy
from the lockheed-employees-failed-to-volunteer dept.
The BBC reports that Boeing has a source of human passengers to populate its manned crew transport vehicle, the CST-100: Boeing employees. The CST-100 is Boeing's bid to replace more expensive options, such as the recently retired space shuttle family, for delivering astronauts to space, including to the International Space Station. The lucky employees (interns?) won't have a chance to visit space until the experimental capsule first makes two unmanned trips, lifted by an Atlas V rocket. These first three trips are all slated for 2015.
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Boeing Employees To Man CST-100 Crew Capsule

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  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Saturday August 06, 2011 @10:33AM (#37007636) Homepage Journal
    I've seen rather intensive internships in my days, but never anything quite that demanding. Working interns for 18+ hours a day is one thing, but locking them into work for a week or more is quite a bit different. Does Boeing pay their interns (although in this case life insurance might be the more important bit)?
    • Re:Interns? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by adamchou (993073) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @10:38AM (#37007666)
      Are you kidding me? I would jump at the opportunity for an internship that is going to give me time in space!
      • Saturday morning breakfast cereal [smbc-comics.com], for a change.
      • you will have to pay the costs and maybe your own insurance here is forum to add it to your student loans.

        any ways I have seen places wanting up to 6 month internship full time no pay + maybe have to pay some of your own costs to do the job.

        • by tomhudson (43916)

          any ways I have seen places wanting up to 6 month internship full time no pay + maybe have to pay some of your own costs to do the job.

          ... and many of the places that do that are breaking the law. You may want to check your jurisdiction, but if that's the case:

          • 1. Take unpaid internship in jurisdiction that requires all workers be paid.
          • 2. Demand your paycheck.
          • 3. PROFIT!

          Will they fire you? It's not like they can go and replace you with an unpaid intern when you file a complaint with the gov't.

    • by mangu (126918)

      Does Boeing pay their interns (although in this case life insurance might be the more important bit)?

      Since the market price for the trip is $20~35 million [wikipedia.org] they are paid much better than the Boeing CEO. They are getting in one week the value of what's paid to the CEO in a year [nwsource.com]

      • Does Boeing pay their interns (although in this case life insurance might be the more important bit)?

        Since the market price for the trip is $20~35 million they are paid much better than the Boeing CEO. They are getting in one week the value of what's paid to the CEO in a year

        I think you're on to something here!

        Let's send the Boeing CEO in to space, and let him pay back the company the cost of the trip out of his own paycheck! And while we're at it, if we can send one CEO to space, let's send all our CEOs into space!

        • by TheLink (130905)
          I've proposed this here (and to others) before: Start a TV reality show (or mock one) called "Vote Them Off The Planet".

          Multiple categories - live contestants, politicians, celebrities, etc. One way and return. So you could have a mock vote to vote Obama or Bush off the planet- one way or return.

          You could even have it for real where they could choose not to go (or choose to pay for the return trip if they "won" the one-way ;) ).
        • by FleaPlus (6935)

          Let's send the Boeing CEO in to space, and let him pay back the company the cost of the trip out of his own paycheck!

          FYI, the Boeing exec in charge of the CST-100 program has already been to space a few times:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewster_H._Shaw [wikipedia.org]

      • so give a Interns tax hell for the rest of there lives as that $20M+ can be seen as income.

    • But just think about the valuable real-word integrated collaborative work experience they receive! Surely that should be worth more to these corporate cannon fodder^H^H^Huniversity students than any amount of money or time spent with loved ones, correct?
      • by dbc (135354)

        Let's see... who do we have that's expendable? The worst (as in most cynical employer) internship job I ever heard of was a friend who was a food technology major. She got a summer job with a major packaged foods maker. Her summer job: taste test pilot plant product that was coming out of shelf stability testing using various new experimental preservatives. As in: rate on a scale from slightly stale to disgustingly rancid. Not quite life threatening, but certainly lunch threatening.

    • Does Boeing pay their interns (although in this case life insurance might be the more important bit)?

      Generally speaking, yes Boeing does pay it's interns. Actually, they are paid a fair wage.

  • n00bs (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    SpaceX, Dragon, Elon Musk. Nuff said.

  • ...if we got back into space one way or the other. I don't care if the people going up are "officially managed" NASA astronauts or not.

    Question, is the Atlas rocket man rated for space? Why are we developing new LEO rockets when we already have working ones, aside from payload capacity? Just asking...

    • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @10:49AM (#37007728)

      Question, is the Atlas rocket man rated for space?

      Not yet. But three of the four CommercialCrew contractors have chosen the Atlas. (The fourth, obviously, is SpaceX.)

      Why are we developing new LEO rockets when we already have working ones, aside from payload capacity?

      Independent experts in Utah have advised certain learned members of congress that no alternative is viable.

    • by Brucelet (1857158)
      Post-Constellation, we're not. The current NASA plan is to develop a heavy lift launcher capable of manned missions to unspecified targets such as the moon/mars/asteroids. Atlas is a fine ride to LEO but you need something larger to go farther.
      • by 0123456 (636235) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @11:36AM (#37008102)

        Post-Constellation, we're not. The current NASA plan is to develop a heavy lift launcher capable of manned missions to unspecified targets such as the moon/mars/asteroids.

        Unspecified missions to unspecified targets that will never happen so long as most of NASA's budget is being wasted on a jobs program... sorry, heavy lift launcher.

        Atlas is a fine ride to LEO but you need something larger to go farther.

        That's like saying you need a bigger spacecraft than the shuttle to build a space station because Skylab was launched on a Saturn V. In reality you split the payload into smaller sized chunks and launch them on something far more cost-effective than a NASA boondoggle that will cost billions of dollars every time it flies because it only does so once a year and needs 10,000 people to prepare it for launch. Most of the mass you need to put into orbit for a long-range spacecraft is fuel, which can easily be split across multiple launches.

        • by tsotha (720379)

          Most of the mass you need to put into orbit for a long-range spacecraft is fuel, which can easily be split across multiple launches.

          "Easily"? I wouldn't go that far, though I do agree with the general thrust of your comment.

          Also, I wonder why the hell we built a space station if we're not going to use it for EOR.

        • And you're a retard. Certainly the NASA plan is dumb, but done right larger rockets have an inherent efficiency advantage over smaller ones to get the same tonnage into the same orbit. We don't need small rockets, we need larger rockets that are well designed and mass produced allowing us to leverage economies of scale.

          Of course, the best solution would be to ditch chemical rockets altogether. A space elevator, launch loop, or linear accelerator would all be good (though the latter two, not so much for mann

  • by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs@ovi.cSLACKWAREom minus distro> on Saturday August 06, 2011 @10:39AM (#37007674) Homepage

    The Atlas V uses Kerosene / LOX for it's 1st stage instead of Liquid Hydrogen. Something we learned in the 60's then forgot with the shuttle. Of course we have to buy them from the Russians.

    • Re:At last (Score:5, Informative)

      by camperdave (969942) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @12:09PM (#37008356) Journal
      We didn't forget it. We chose not to apply it, and go with solids instead. Then ATK, the manufacturer of the solids bought the senator in charge of NASA's budget to make sure that everything post-shuttle had solid rockets. Hence, the ARES fiasco, and why we haven't got a shuttle replacement.
    • by vought (160908)

      I fail to understand your comment about LH2/LOX versus JP7/LOX. What is the point you're trying to make. Then again, you seem to be under the impression that the Russians are making Atlas V now.

      Might want to take advantage of proofing before you hit submit.

      • by kurt555gs (309278)

        The Russians make the Kerosene / LOX rocket engines according to what I read.

      • I fail to understand your comment about LH2/LOX versus JP7/LOX. What is the point you're trying to make.

        You can put much more JP7/LOX into a given size tank than you can H2/LOX.

        Enough more that it's easier to make a rocket capable of going to orbit using JP7/LOX than H2/LOX.

        Remember that smaller fuel tanks means lighter fuel tanks means more payload, all things being equal. And they're not so unequal as to give H2 an advantage for a rocket starting on the ground....

        • by qbwiz (87077)

          But the SRBs have about 5 times the total thrust of the main engines, so the main engines become really helpful only after the SRBs give out. Therefore, they're more like a second stage, and like the second stages of the Saturn V or Atlas V (Centaur) should probably use LOX/LH2 to reduce mass and increase the mass ratio of the first stage.

          • by tsotha (720379)

            The problem with SRBs is they're dangerous. Once lit there's no way to shut them off until they burn out, so they complicate (or preclude) launch abort systems.

      • Re:At last (Score:4, Informative)

        by Migraineman (632203) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @01:08PM (#37008822)
        We're certainly buying the RD-180 engines [wikipedia.org] from the Russians. I don't believe Pratt & Whitney is manufacturing them yet, though they have a license to do so.

        Kerosene/RP-1 is much, much easier to handle, and in spite of the lower Isp, presents a more cost effective solution from a system perspective. Optimizing the engine to run on LH2 for maximum Isp imparts an enormous programmatic cost. Would have been more cost effective to use the lower Isp engine. That's a program management failure, because a collection of point-optimized elements rarely results in an optimal system solution.
        • If you're going to use LOX anyway you might as well go to chilled propane at the same temperature as the LOX. Chilled, it has the same density as kerosene, less tendency to gunk up the pipes when hot, better regenerative cooling capacity and better Isp than kerosene. (Ethane is good, too.) For upper stages hydrogen still often makes sense, even with the tank size, the insulation needed and the lack of storability - the better Isp really pays off when you're already at a high speed. The low weight of H2 help

    • by n0ty (2431662)
      It was an engineering requirement. The Shuttle is essentially a "Single Stage To Orbit" booster. Kerosene/LOX works well for the first stage of a booster in the lower atmosphere (i.e. Apollo), but it doesn't work well in higher atmosphere or Space. That's why they HAD to use Hydrogen/Oxygen for the Shuttle Main Engines.
    • The Atlas V uses Kerosene / LOX for it's 1st stage instead of Liquid Hydrogen. Something we learned in the 60's then forgot with the shuttle.

      We didn't forget - we just didn't use them. The same way I didn't "forget" to use my hammer to snip a bit of wire when I was fixing my fence this afternoon. Different tools for different uses.

  • If we ever get space hotels, I guess I can just go there with my flying car instead.

    Seriously, why does every space story need to involve a reference to space hotels ?

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      If we ever get space hotels, I guess I can just go there with my flying car instead.

      Bigelow already has two 'space hotel' modules in orbit for long-term testing and Falcon/Dragon could fly tourists there for significantly less than the cost of a trip to ISS. You'll almost certainly see a space hotel before you see a commercially-viable flying car.

  • I'm sure Boeing, or anyone, could find plenty of volunteers willing to get launched into space... even more so if there's a good chance of making it back alive. A lot of people would (and sometimes do) pay millions for the privilege.

  • 1969 called they want their space capsule back
    • by codepunk (167897) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @11:14AM (#37007916)

      Yep and it is exactly the direction that should be taken. I know if it was my ass on the line I would take a capsule over a over engineered shuttle any day.

      The shuttle was a incredible show of stupidity. Why hoist all of the control surfaces, landing gear, associated control equipment into space just so it can land on a runway.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        The shuttle was a incredible show of stupidity. Why hoist all of the control surfaces, landing gear, associated control equipment into space just so it can land on a runway.

        That's like asking why you put all the control surfaces and landing gear on an airliner just so it can land on a runway rather than have the passengers parachute out at the end of the flight and crash it into the ground? The shuttle made sense so long as it could fly every couple of weeks as NASA originally claimed; it made no sense when it only few once a year... the fixed costs killed it, not the cost of a single flight.

        • by Arlet (29997)

          On an airliner, don't you need the control surfaces to fly, and the landing gear to take off ?

          I'm sure professional astronauts don't mind a parachute landing.

          • by 0123456 (636235)

            On an airliner, don't you need the control surfaces to fly, and the landing gear to take off ?

            You could just stick it on a rocket booster and launch it on a ballistic trajectory to where you're going. Heck, that way you could remove the wings too.

            The point is that if you really want to get the costs down, you need to fly a lot; and the best way to fly a lot is to build something you just refuel and fly again with minimal maintenance. The shuttle tried to take a big step toward that goal, but it was a dismal failure.

            • This MIT class [mit.edu] on the shuttle is very interesting. It appears that if done today the shuttle would have been able to perform much closer to its promises because they could have put diagnostics into the engines and saved themselves from having to take them out after every launch.
        • Your right about fixed costs, but there is more to it than that. Energetically, it makes no sense to lift so much material into orbit and then not leave it there to grow humankind's presence in space. Rockets with maximum to-orbit payload sizes with tiny return capsules make more sense. The shuttle might make sense if energy was 10X -100X cheaper than it was, and it might be someday... And it probably was cheaper relatively when the shuttle was designed.

          But even with cheap energy, the shuttle program also

      • by TheLink (130905)
        One of the things the shuttle could do that most other spacecraft couldn't is to bring stuff down from space. Apparently the spooks liked this feature...

        If nobody needed this feature, they wouldn't need all the crap you mentioned. Could send stuff to space way cheaper.
        • by Arlet (29997)

          I wonder how many times this feature was used. Any idea ?

          • by AJWM (19027)

            A couple of times.

            Once to retrieve a couple of commercial communications satellites whose boost motors misfired -- they were brought back, refurbed and relaunched.

            Another time to retrieve the (extremely) Long Duration Exposure Facility, a flying testbed to research the effect of space exposure on various materials and objects (including tomato seeds). It stayed up a couple years longer than originally planned when the Challenger disaster pushed the schedule back.

            There may have been others, but that's what

      • by jmauro (32523)

        Because if it didn't have wings then a USAF couldn't use it.

        Yes, that is one of the overwelming reasons the orbiter has wings. The USAF paid for part of it and as a result of the Key West Accords with the Army the USAF could only command things that fly with wings. So as such the #1 priority for the USAF in the design is that it have wings.

        Yes it is silly.

    • by Brucelet (1857158)
      Some pretty smart people designed well-optimised capsule shapes in the 60's. Physics hasn't changed in the half-century since then.
    • by tsotha (720379)
      More like they wonder why we took a forty year detour down a blind alley.
  • I found the new crew uniform! [coachhousegifts.com]
  • 1986

    Teacher: "And what do YOU want to be when you grow up?"

    Timmy: "I want to be an Astronaut!"

    2011

    Teacher: "And what do YOU want to be when you grow up?"

    Timmy: "I want to work at Boeing!"

  • Boeing has many test pilots on staff, and I'm sure that they will be the ones making the first few flights. Normally a civilian company test pilot makes the first flights of any new aircraft design before it is handed over to government / military test pilots for the follow-on phases of flight test and development. NASA was more of an exception than the rule because they had their astronauts make the first flights of previous space capsules / shuttles. But if memory serves me correctly, the first flights of
  • by master_p (608214) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @12:14PM (#37008402)

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  • by kmahan (80459) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @12:30PM (#37008516)

    The first two unmanned flights will be crewed by interns. The third is the manned one with actual Boeing employees.

  • This should be ready to service the ISS about the time it is scheduled to be crash landed.

  • by mmaddox (155681) <oopfooNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday August 06, 2011 @02:19PM (#37009448)

    In the not-too-distant future --
    Next Sunday, A.D. --
    There was a guy named Joel,
    Not too different than you or me.
    He worked in a satellite loading bay,
    Just polishing switches to pay his way;
    He did his job well with a cheerful face,
    But his bosses didn't like him
    So they shot him into spaaaaaaaaace......

  • Why do you Americans fall over yourselves to do unpaid work for greedy corporations when you're young?

    It's the height of craziness, especially considering the cost of your education is so high and if you get sick at any time in your lives you'll probably be bankrupted by medical bills, unless you just rot away slowly in pain.

  • Welcome to the enrichment center. Since making test participation mandatory for all employees, the quality of our test subjects has risen dramatically. Employee retention, however, has not. As a result, you may have heard we're gonna phase out human testing. There's still a few things left to wrap up though - first up, conversion gel. Now, the beancounters told me we literally could not afford to buy $7 worth of moon rocks, much less 70 million. Bought 'em anyway. Ground them up, mixed them into a gel, and

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