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Boeing completes preliminary design review of CST-100's Launch Vehicle Adapter


April 6, 2013

Artist's concept of the CTS-100 and the Atlas V upper stage

Artist's concept of the CTS-100 and the Atlas V upper stage

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Boeing announced on Friday that the preliminary design review for the Launch Vehicle Adapter (LVA) for the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft has been successfully completed. This is the third milestone completed by Boeing under NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement, the purpose of which is to develop a privately owned and operated U.S. replacement for the Space Shuttle to ferry crew to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

The LVA is used to attach the manned CST-100 spacecraft to the Atlas V rocket that will send it into orbit. Designed by United Launch Alliance (ULA), who also build the Atlas V, the LVA’s design review comes after the CST-100 passed two CCiCap milestones earlier this year and its completion means that detailed engineering of the adapter can proceed with flight testing of the CST-100 spacecraft scheduled for 2016.

“This review was an outstanding integrated effort by the Boeing, ULA and NASA teams,” said John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Boeing Commercial Crew Programs. “It sets the baseline for us to proceed to wind tunnel testing and the launch segment review in June.”

The LVA’s passing of this milestone is an important step because the adapter is more than just a way of fitting the CST-100 to the Atlas V. Such adapters often include a complex collection of explosive bolts, retro rockets, and equipment packages designed to ensure that the adapter separates from both the rocket and the spacecraft without banging into either or presenting a threat of producing space debris.

Source: Boeing

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past. All articles by David Szondy

Ok cool. But Dragon is already flying.

Why does the adapter need to separate from the lower booster?


Looks cool, needs a paint job, hope it works well. We need to get Americans back into space on an American ride.


SpaceX will probably be flying crews into space years before this rather latecomer gets into the skies :o)


when are they going to come up with a two stage system.both reusable.


Looks a lot like a STS ET on the bottom, which is what has been proposed over and over for many years.

Put three shuttle main engines under the bottom of an ET and SRB combo and a payload the mass of a loaded shuttle could be lofted to orbit in one launch. Give it enough boost and the ET could go to orbit with it.

One launch space station with far more room inside than what's taken so many years to get up there.

I guess that makes too much sense or doesn't cost enough!

Gregg Eshelman
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