Boeing's Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 can hold seven crew and will be bigger than Apollo but smaller than NASA's Orion, and be able to launch on a variety of different rockets, including Atlas, Delta and Falcon. It will use a simple systems architecture and existing, proven components, Boeing stated.
The company envisions the spacecraft supporting the International Space Station and future Bigelow Aerospace Orbital Space Complex systems. Bigelow is building what it calls "expandable habitats," that which are inflatable spacecraft would act as large, less costly space stations.
In Feb. NASA awarded some $50 million to Blue Origin, Boeing, Paragon Space Development Corporation, Sierra Nevada Corporation and United Launch Alliance to develop and demonstrate safe, reliable, and cost-effective capabilities to transport cargo and eventually crew to low-Earth orbit and the ISS.
CCDev represents a milestone in the development of an orbital commercial human spaceflight sector, NASA stated. By maturing "the design and development of commercial crew spaceflight concepts and associated enabling technologies and capabilities," the program will allow several companies to move a few steps forward towards the ultimate goal of full demonstration of commercial human spaceflight to orbit, NASA said.
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