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Space Transportation

Boeing Unveils Cabin Design For Commercial Spaceliner 74

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes " Did you enjoy your flight, Dr Heywood Floyd?" Boeing unveiled a new concept for the cabin of a future commercial spaceliner, based on the blue-lit Boeing "Sky" interior of the company's modern airliners, as well as work on the company's CST-100 space capsule. "Provided there is a destination for them out there, how will that passenger want to go back and forth?'" said Chris Ferguson, a former astronaut who commanded NASA's final space shuttle mission in 2011 and now serves as Boeing's director of crew and mission operations for the commercial crew program. Boeing developed the CST-100 capsule to compete for NASA's space station crew launch business after the agency retired its space shuttle fleet. The capsule is designed to launch on an expendable Atlas 5 rocket. NASA will be selecting one or more companies in August of this year, with the aim of reaching flight operations in 2017."
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Boeing Unveils Cabin Design For Commercial Spaceliner

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  • By quoting Kubrick's film (Heywood Floyd travels in a Pan-Am spaceflight in 2001: A Space Odyssey [] ), the summary suggests that Boeing is preparing to send commercial travellers to space stations or the moon. In that case, unveiling a concept would just be meaningless fluff PR, like those architecture firms that show off plans for mile-high arcologies but have no initiative to actually build them. For the time being, the only prospects for human commercial spaceflight is sending people up to enjoy a few minutes of weightlessness, not even real orbit.

    • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdo ... g ['kis' in gap]> on Saturday May 03, 2014 @02:09PM (#46908881)

      Yeah, this is pretty clearly marketing. This is basically an "artist's rendition" of what the interior of such a space vehicle would look like. Needless to say, how to do interior design of the cabin is not really the biggest obstacle in the way of this vehicle existing.

      Actually I think it might not even be marketing for their space arm, but cross-over marketing for their commercial airliner arm. Boeing has been rolling out their new "Sky interior" concept on new and refurbished planes, and there's a big branding push to make it have a positive/modern/advanced image in travelers' minds. Tying it in with some futuristic space-shuttle concept whose interior looks remarkably like the 787's interior could be part of that strategy.

      • It looks like United Launch has been working on human rating the Atlas V and building a Crew Transportation System since 2006 []

        I can only imagine that this sudden rush of PR is due to SpaceX's recent smear of UL for locking them out of the military space market

        • by Teancum ( 67324 )

          I can only imagine that this sudden rush of PR is due to SpaceX's recent smear of UL for locking them out of the military space market

          How about this was just something positive that the company could say about themselves? You don't need to look into conspiracy theories here, just simply that a bunch of Boeing engineers did something cool and decided to brag about it. That the timing also coincided with some negative publicity certainly could be a good thing for Boeing as well, but frankly they've been doing steady progress with this spacecraft anyway.

    • By making up a quote that includes the name of a character from 2001, but isn't actually in Kubrick's film at all


  • by McGruber ( 1417641 ) on Saturday May 03, 2014 @01:42PM (#46908757)
    Article Summary: Boeing's Vaporware includes a blue interior.
    • Boeing also shows interiors for its traditional airlines too... However I have never seen any of Boeings customers implement them either.
      It really comes down to cost.

      • by nameer ( 706715 )

        Uh, lots of Boeing [] customers use the Sky interior.

        More than 85 percent of Boeing's backlog of more than 3,400 Next-Generation 737s and 737 MAXs will be delivered with the Boeing Sky Interior. The Boeing Sky Interior will be standard on the 737 MAX.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Cost revisions later it's back spam in a can seating.

  • In other news, I've just unveiled the interior design of my alpine fortress; it'll be located on a mountain-top in Switzerland (where else?) but will be fitted with pan-dimensional doorways that lead to a Hawaiian beach, a Dallas strip club, a Colorado grow-op and several Thai restaurants).
  • The company that will do it is most likely spacex. If they manage to make their rockets reusable, there might be no other launch companies left.

    • If and when SpaceX becomes a stable and above all profitable enterprise there will be plenty of others who will get in the game. SpaceX is just doing the hard work upfront with their R&D and working out how to stream line the operational and safety procedures needed to support such a venture. As long as the government doesn't smother them with regulations and the governments version of standards they should be quite successful in the future.

      • SpaceX is just doing the hard work upfront with their R&D

        Dear God Almighty, SpaceX is not doing jack-shit R&D. The R&D was done 50 years ago, and documented in extraordinary detail by others.

        • Really? Wow. Could you please provide a link or reference citation to the extraordinarily detailed documents describing the data obtained from the 50+ year-old R&D in flying rocket booster stages back to sea-level for a controlled powered landing, so they can be refuelled and reused with minimal-to-none teardown/rebuilding? Or the 50+ year-old R&D into combining a capsule launch escape system with a means of powered descent and soft-landing on land, removing the need for parachutes (except as emerge

        • by Teancum ( 67324 )

          SpaceX is just doing the hard work upfront with their R&D

          Dear God Almighty, SpaceX is not doing jack-shit R&D. The R&D was done 50 years ago, and documented in extraordinary detail by others.

          I'd like to see the video or for that matter even a classified U.S. Army Air Corps document that has anybody from any country of the world (hell, even the Nazi's at their secret Antarctic base) do something like this 50 years ago:



        • A lot of what SpaceX is doing was not done 50 years ago but more like 30 years ago. Often it was not done before in the US. One example would be the channel wall nozzle used in the Merlin 1D engine.

          SpaceX also does some things which were not done before like the lightweight tanks they use which can keep its shape while empty. The stage design they use is a lot cheaper to manufacture than the stiffened isogrid construction used in the EELVs.

          SpaceX does a lot more R&D than its detractors like to think.

      • SpaceX has been profitable for several years now
  • Looks scarily like the passenger facilities in the spaceliner in WALL-E to me...
  • Now that we know what the decor of the interior will be like, the remainder of actually designing a working spacecraft with a useful mission is trivial. We're almost to Mars! Did anyone note that, in the linked article, they talk about providing passengers with a "large digital display"? You get a video feed, not a window. Is it just me, but does that take away most of the impact of the experience?

    • by Teancum ( 67324 )

      Did you even read the article? I doubt it, based upon your response here. Most of your questions were answered in that article BTW.

      As for the rest of the actual spaceship, it has already been built... at least the engineering prototypes. The launcher is going to be likely the Atlas V (assuming that the whole issue with Putin can be put to rest so the Russian engines can keep coming for that rocket). That has already done nearly a hundred launches so it is safe to assume it is in pretty good standing. T

  • The article has no mention of any competing ships. Odd omission, isn't it?

    The 2001 reference is particularly off-target here, since Boing are developing a mere capsule while SNC are developing a proper spaceplane. Their Dream Chaser will subject its occupants to much less G-forces during reentry, will have greater cross-range landing capability, and even has hybrid rocket engines on board for on-orbit maneuvering and other uses (such as flying the ship away safely if there's a booster failure). Plus, the

  • Nope, that's not what it will look like at all. It's microgravity so now they can squeeze passengers in horizontally AND vertically. There are already airlines that charge wide people for two seats. Now tall people will be charged because they take too much head room.
  • I think Boeing needs to focus a little more on getting people/materials to space and a little less on the aesthetics of their cabin design. From what I gather the already high costs of their United Launch Alliance rockets for the DoD have increased 60% in the last few years. Some estimates put their launches at $380 Million each not including some of the fixed production/facilities maintenance (~$1B). SpaceX can launch the same payloads in the $56 - 90 Million per launch range.

  • If Boeing was interested in getting people into space, more than a handful of them would be there. The fact is that it has taken a company that was outside of the system, with a tiny fraction of Boeing's funding, to make more progress than Boeing has.

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