No coach-class here -- Boeing, Bigelow offer look inside future spaceships

Boeing, Bigelow show possible future of commercial space services

While most of the attention to future spacecraft seems to focus attention on what the exterior of the ship looks like, Boeing and Bigelow Aerospace this week offered a look at what the interior of their respective systems.

Boeing's Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 can hold a crew of seven and will be bigger than the Apollo capsule but smaller than NASA's Orion, which is also still under development. 

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By the looks of it you won't confuse the interior with that of a Boeing 737.

"Designing the next-generation interior for commercial space is a natural progression. A familiar daytime blue sky scene helps passengers maintain their connection with Earth," said Rachelle Ornan, regional director of Sales and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in a statement.

The CTS-100 should be able to launch on a variety of different rockets, including Atlas, Delta and Space X Falcon.

Boeing is in high-stakes competition develop a commercial spacecraft with Sierra Nevada and SpaceX.   All three companies have received the lion's share of NASA financial support through its Commercial Crew program.

Boeing has said from the beginning of CTS development that it envisions the spacecraft supporting the International Space Station and future Bigelow Aerospace Orbital Space Complex systems in particular.

Meanwhile Bigelow showed off one of its "expandable habitats," which are inflatable spacecraft that can function as independent space stations or be connected together in a modular fashion to create an even larger and more capable orbital space system.

Specifically Bigelow showed the interior of its BA 330 which can hold up to six people.

NASA last year awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace could bring the company's smaller inflatable space station components to the International Space Station. The smaller inflatable system called the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM could be launched to the station using a commercial cargo flight and robotically attached to the orbiting laboratory.

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