Boeing teams with Space Adventures to offer spaceflight trips

Boeing, Space Adventures latest to promote space tourism

Boeing CST-100
Aerospace giant Boeing and outer space tourism proprietors Space Adventures teamed up today to offer low Earth orbit (LEO) flight services onboard Boeing's future commercial crew spacecraft.

Under this agreement, Space Adventures will market passenger seats on commercial flights aboard the Boeing Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) spacecraft. Boeing's (CST)-100, which is under development, can hold seven and is bigger than NASA's Apollo orbiter but smaller than NASA's Orion.  Boeing says the ship will be able to launch on a variety of different rockets, including Atlas, Delta and Falcon. It will use simple systems architecture and existing, proven components, Boeing stated.

7 critical commercial spaceflight concerns the US must tackle

The companies did not set seating prices but said they will once full-scale development is under way.  Competitor Virgin Galactic says more than 300 people have paid almost $40 million in ticket deposits to get onboard its future flights.  Virgin Galactic is currently offering the sub-orbital flights for $200,000. Other space flight groups including Space Adventures can charge $3 to $5 million for space flights. Space Adventures has hosted a variety of high-profile flyers such as ex-Microsoft developer Charles Simonyi, computer game entrepreneur Richard Garriott and tech industry icon Esther Dyson.

Boeing and Space Adventures envision ppotential customers to include private individuals, companies, non-governmental organizations, and US federal agencies other than NASA.

Boeing plans to use the CST-100 to provide crew transportation to the International Space Station (ISS) and future commercial LEO platforms and Space Adventures has contracted and flown seven spaceflight participants on eight ISS missions.

 "To date, all commercial flights for private spaceflight participants to the ISS have been contracted by Space Adventures. If NASA and the international partners continue to accommodate commercial spaceflight participants on ISS, this agreement will be in concert with the NASA administrator's stated intent to promote space commerce in low Earth orbit,"  said Brewster Shaw, vice president and general manager of Boeing's Space Exploration division in a statement.

Follow Michael Cooney on Twitter: nwwlayer8  

Layer 8 Extra

Check out these other hot stories:

NASA looks at horizontal, railgun-like rocket launcher

Security absurdity: US in sensitive information quagmire

Spaceflight formation flying test bed takes off

NASA Mars rover halfway to the promised crater

Supernova shrapnel slammed into meteorite

DARPA looking for extreme wireless interference buster

Military mobile apps store gets $6.4M to open

NASA preps ultimate Sun mission

US wants portable, rugged atomic clocks

US spends $11M to kick-start video search technology

Researchers build mysterious 'Quantum Cats' from light

NASA helps two commercial spacecraft blast off

DARPA takes aim at insider threats

NASA Kepler spacecraft spots 2 new planets crossing same star

NSF awards $20M to jazz up university research networks

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.