NASA has announced the names of the first astronauts to ride into space aboard the first generation of commercial spacecraft that will return manned launch capabilities to American soil. With the selection process complete, the astronauts are set to begin a stringent training program in preparation for the 2017 launch of Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft.
Commercial passenger spaceflight has gone on the books with Boeing announcing that it's received the first contract ever issued to a private company to carry out a manned space mission. The NASA task order means that Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft will ferry crews to the International Space Station (ISS) on up to six missions.
Mankind's most remote
outpost underwent a significant remodel this week, as an entire module
of the International Space Station was relocated in order to make way
for the next generation of American commercial spacecraft. The move
didn't require a spacewalk, with operators instead making use of the
16-m (52-ft) robotic arm to grapple and maneuver the Leonardo,
or Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM).
For several years, NASA and its private enterprise partners have been working on the space agency's Commercial Crew Program
(CCP) to provide an astronaut ferry service from US soil to the International Space Station. Now a panel from NASA, Boeing, and SpaceX has outlined the latest timetable leading up to the first commercial flights.
The push to return manned launch capabilities to United States soil is bringing about an exciting period in the commercial space industry. September 2014 saw the awarding of the US Government's Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract, with both Boeing and SpaceX
benefiting from a significant investment of US$6.8 billion. The contract has the ultimate goal of expediting the development and production of commercial spacecraft specializing in low-Earth orbit operations to the ISS. But what were the driving factors behind the change, and how do the planned replacements match up to the capabilities and conditions of the long standing Soyuz program? Read on as we delve deeper into NASA's mission to end the nation's reliance on Russia by 2017.
The dawn of manned commercial spaceflight received a major boost as NASA announced in a news conference today that Boeing and SpaceX have been chosen to ferry US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The US$6.8 billion contract was divided between the two companies to cover the cost of certification of the Boeing CST-100 and the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, one demonstration mission for each, plus six commercial missions to the station.
Captain Picard’s ride seemed to have landed in Las Vegas today, as Boeing unveiled a mock-up of the new commercial interior of its Crew Space Transportation (CST-100)
. Under development as part of a NASA program to put a privately-owned and operated manned spacecraft to ferry American crews and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), the new interior reflects Boeing’s design strategy and it ambitions beyond NASA.
The commander of the last Space Shuttle mission recently returned to space, but never left the ground. No, this isn’t one of those annoying lateral thinking puzzles. Chris Ferguson, commander of the STS-135 Atlantis mission in 2011 and currently director of Crew and Mission Operations at Boeing, went on a virtual flight to the International Space Station (ISS) in a ground-based simulator as part of NASA’s testing requirements for Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100
NASA and Boeing have unveiled a mock up of the Crew Space Transport (CST-100)
space capsule. In an event held at Boeing’s Houston Product Support Center in Texas, members of the press were invited to view a fully outfitted test version of the spacecraft. As part of the proceedings, two NASA astronauts kitted-out in flight suits conducted tests on working in the capsule.