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Space Transportation Science

Boeing Teams To Offer Spaceflight Trips 59

coondoggie writes "Aerospace giant Boeing and outer space tourism proprietors Space Adventures teamed up today to offer low Earth orbit (LEO) flight services onboard Boeing's future commercial crew spacecraft. Under this agreement, Space Adventures will market passenger seats on commercial flights aboard the Boeing Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) spacecraft. Boeing's CST-100, which is under development, can hold seven and is bigger than NASA's Apollo orbiter but smaller than NASA's Orion."
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Boeing Teams To Offer Spaceflight Trips

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does this count as an international flight? And if so, are alcoholic beverages included in the ticket price?

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      "Does this count as an international flight?"

      If it is an orbital flight I would guess it counts as international, although I remember another tourist flight that went from Aucklnad to Chistchurch via antarctica. It was 'officially a domestic flight (even when the last one ended up slamming into MT Erebus (but hey thats in the part of antarctica claimed by NZ)

      "And if so, are alcoholic beverages included in the ticket price?"

      I'm thinking that consuming alcohol before or during time in zero gravity is probably

    • it's like the old days all in the high ticket price no price line low prices

  • bah (Score:3, Informative)

    by spectrokid ( 660550 ) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @04:50AM (#33597416) Homepage
    If you gonna do it, do it in style. Die in a homebuild rocket [] dragged behind a homebuild submarine.
    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      Wow, that looks like it's right out of Legoland! The sub was funny enough, I didn't even realize it was a full scale rocket until I saw the pictures of the dummy (with a cosmonaut helmet, no less!) standing in the nose cone...

      • by Teancum ( 67324 )

        The submarine was the group's previous project, and seems to run just fine. They are using the submarine merely because it is handy and are trying to make use of all of their available resources, not because they particularly need a submarine.

        The last launch attempt was aborted due to a hair blower that they purchased at a local department store that got disconnected from its power supply and caused an LOX valve to seal shut. A similar kind of valve heater by one of the larger companies would have cost at

        • To me, the most promising is ARCA, based out of Romania and launching into the Black Sea.

          Doesn't seem to be very 'payload friendly'. Being dragged behind the exhaust of three booster stages seems, well, just wrong.

          Unless you're the lead dog, the view never changes sort of thing.

          • by Teancum ( 67324 )

            The primary reason for this system of launchers being dragged behind the firing stage is to set up an assembly line of boosters that all have the same components. In other words, you improve reliability and decrease cost simply through economies of scale and turning out three or four of the same part (or more) for each flight. It also helps in terms of an emergency abort, where you may lose one stage but the subsequent stages can carry on as if nothing happened... other than you may not achieve orbit. Ab

  • Coming soon: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Haedrian ( 1676506 ) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @05:02AM (#33597440)

    I wonder how long it'll take before the 'cheap-o' airlines get wind of this and squash 50 people in the same space.

    • I wonder how long it'll take before the 'cheap-o' airlines get wind of this and squash 50 people in the same space.

      "in the same space"


    • by Rob Kaper ( 5960 )

      A very long time. Mass travel depends on desirable destinations and there simply aren't any in LEO or space: it's in and quickly out. Completely incomparable with the frontiers on earth as those at least had the potential to be settled, did get settled and turned into purposeful destinations. Until we get space hotels, moon bases and mines... cheap space travel is simply not going to happen.

  • oh well (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chichilalescu ( 1647065 ) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @05:11AM (#33597462) Homepage Journal

    like a lot of things, getting off the planet will start off as an exotic fad for the ridiculously rich. as a scientist, I'm disgusted... but it's probably the only realistic option for progress on this front.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by flyingfsck ( 986395 )
      Yeah but they won't stay rich very long if they keep doing it...
      • Generally, if you got rich enough to afford this, then you will have no issue staying rich. Even the US taxlaws are built around ensuring that.
      • Yeah but they won't stay rich very long if they keep doing it.

        A fool and his money are soon parted...

    • Re:oh well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rufty_tufty ( 888596 ) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @06:35AM (#33597754) Homepage

      To be fair, I thought so far more scientists had been sent into orbit than uber-rich people

      • To be fair, I thought so far more scientists had been sent into orbit than uber-rich people

        You, sir, are correct!

      • you're right. but it's my impression that we are now around a tipping point when improvements to the various technologies are (will be) made by for-profit companies, as opposed to state funded agencies.
        think about automobiles: the first people to drive them were their inventors, but what followed was a period of novelty status, up to the point where the technology improved enough so that more people could afford them. In fact, I think the same thing is happening with electric cars now (actually, electric ca

        • That doesn't, actually, make it a bad thing, though. I could go through the standard spiel about competition driving innovation, but the last thing I want is to start an ideology war in this thread.

          Suffice to say that it doesn't much matter how we get up there, as long as we get up there.
      • And it will remain that way for a LONG LONG TIME. The CST will be used for transportation to private space stations. Who will buy the majority of them? Other nations. Brazil, India, Japan, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc. will all want to create their own astronaut core and put ppl up there. WHy? For the day that private space goes to the moon. Likewise, for trying unique production of goods in micro G.
    • Re:oh well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by khallow ( 566160 ) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @10:23AM (#33599370)

      as a scientist, I'm disgusted

      I have found that you can't do much with the disgust of scientists. It's too freely given.

      but it's probably the only realistic option for progress on this front.

      So what you're saying is that you should feel gratitude instead.

      My point behind this little bit of snark is that here you admit that this is likely to be a very important pathway to getting stuff off planet. It is progress, that will lead to such things as cheaper access to space and subsequent greater ability to make scientific discoveries and inventions in space, for example. Yet I get the impression that you'd rather spurn this boon, if you could.

      As I see it, the lack of gratitude, for things that help scientists, but in a crass way (or in some cases, anything that triggers feelings of inferiority), is a psychological problem with the scientific community and one of many problems that I think sap scientific progress. It demonstrates bias in a community that supposedly strives to eliminate bias. I think you should waste no time on feeling disgust and instead ask "How can I/we take advantage of this situation?" After all, a spacecraft that can take cavorting rich people into space can also take experiments.

      • ok, disgust is a strong word.

        but it's kind of similar to the feeling I have when I see that normal people have morality out of fear from some god(s) rather than understanding (they do what their priest/whatever tells them to do, they don't try to understand why they should do a certain something).

        I would like people to understand more about what they are doing. I would like a paris hilton like person to go to space because they are excited at the prospect of moon/mars colonies, not because "everybody import

    • Why are you disgusted? Human spaceflight has never really been for a science, robots tend to be better for that (but then again I'm at JPL so I may be biased).

      The only real sustainable purpose of human spaceflight is to learn how to do it for its own sake. For settlement. In order to that right, the costs for launch need to come down so that a person can permanently go somewhere for around a family's life savings. The only way to do that is to reduce costs, and a market with multiple competitors *and* mu

      • by Teancum ( 67324 )

        I think both Brazil and India would likely get into the international space transportation market themselves sooner or later. If they go up on these rockets, it will be to get some experience and training from American astronauts to build their own astronaut corps. Both countries have access to some pretty good spaceport access areas and in fact better latitudes than even KSC. They also both have the money and an indigenous rocket industry of their own that seems to be doing just fine.

        Countries that may

    • by J05H ( 5625 )

      Why are you disgusted? For a long time, the only people in space were military men. At least private space offers the opportunity for (richer) normal people to fly.

      From the perspective of an entrepreneur, space is a place for industry, tourism, services and research, not just for research.

      tl;dr - NASA won't do this for us.

    • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pavon ( 30274 ) on Thursday September 16, 2010 @11:14AM (#33599962)

      The practice of soaking the rich for exorbitantly-priced luxury goods/services in order to fund technological progress is one of my favorite features of capitalism. They become less rich and I get affordable cool shit several years down the road.

      • by kanda ( 624761 )

        "The practice of soaking the rich for exorbitantly-priced luxury goods/services in order to fund technological progress is one of my favorite features of capitalism. -pavon"

        That will make a great quote. I like the favorite feature part a lot.

    • Disgusted? Why? If it becomes common enough, it will become cheaper, and maybe someone will get the bright idea that if tourism is cheap there must be another way to make money here, like space stations functioning as hotels with a permanent crew. A crew that might survive a catastrophic event on the Earth. Then maybe they'll get the idea that maybe we should go out to the asteroids, mine them and make some more money, and so on, and so on.

      At this point we're getting no place fast, if there is a business

  • Crews of up to seven, not seven passengers, if that's what you're wondering.
  • Great - you can look at the control panels or get farted on by the mission commander while attempting to look out a window smaller than a laptop screen. Unless you're going somewhere or have a view - forget it.
    • You could go EVA.

    • by Teancum ( 67324 )

      Boeing and Space Adventures are planning on docking with a space station built by Bigelow Aerospace []. One of the planned space stations is going to have more volume than the International Space Station... at a fraction of the cost. There is a reason why Bigelow is expanding their manufacturing facilities too, as noted on the main web page for the company... people are starting to put money down on their products.

      I think the view will be much nicer than the laptop screen sized window in the spacecraft, and

  • Yeah, until you actually have a product, I won't believe it. I wonder how many people still have reservations on TWA's moon-shuttle vehicle that they were promoting back in 1969.

    • by Teancum ( 67324 )

      There is quite a bit more in terms of real hardware that has been proven or is being proven than existed in 1969. Also... keep in mind who is making and marketing the CST-100 here: Boeing with Space Adventures as the marketing agent.

      Boeing either owns or has a very close business relationship with every manufacturer that has flown people into space made by American spacecraft. Rockwell International, the company who built the Space Shuttle, is currently a subsidiary of Boeing. I think their cred in this

    • by eln ( 21727 )

      Yeah, until you actually have a product, I won't believe it. I wonder how many people still have reservations on TWA's moon-shuttle vehicle that they were promoting back in 1969.

      I still have my reservation. I've tried to call and confirm it, but those TWA guys have been really difficult to get a hold of for the past few years for some reason. Are you trying to suggest they might try to put me in an aisle seat when I specifically requested the window? That would really piss me off.

  • Story is short on details. What kind of rocket? Solid or liquid propellant? Etc. It only show a picture of an Apollo-like capsule.
    • That Apollo-like capsule -is- the CST-100.

      Here's a concept computer animation for you: []

      Wiki sez [] that it can sit on top of a Atlas V, Delta IV, or Falcon 9 rocket.

    • Well, considering its Boeing, I'd venture a guess that its going to be one of the two vehicles they provide with ULA, their joint venture with Lockheed. Both the Atlas and Delta rocket families are liquid cores. Whether or not any solid boosters are involved will depend on the LV and mass (heavy configurations of Atlas require solid boosters, while the Delta IV heavy has two additional liquid boosters, although smaller Deltas have solid boosters as well).

      But really, LV's are done and known. They need to

The amount of time between slipping on the peel and landing on the pavement is precisely 1 bananosecond.