No bottles of champagne were broken, but Boeing’s CST-100 commercial crew transportation spacecraft officially has a new name. Intended to one day ferry astronauts to the International Space Station – and potentially paying customers to low-Earth orbit – the spacecraft is now known as the Starliner.
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).