You May Feel Like an Apollo Astronaut One Day, After All

This is Boeing's new Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft. It is similar to Apollo's Command Module but, instead of just three astronauts, it will carry up to seven astronauts or astroturists. The destination: Commercial space stations (and the ISS).

The CST-100 is compatible with several rockets, including Delta IV, Atlas V, and SpaceX's recently launched Falcon 9. According to Boeing, the use of this rockets for manned spaceflight will be easy thanks to the spacecraft's pull abort system. The abort system will not be jettisoned from the capsule, and it will be used for maneuvering in space.


The spacecraft will also be used by NASA to ferry astronauts to the ISS, but Boeing says that this won't be enough to support its development and production. According to Boeing's Roger Kroner: "There needs to be more than one place to go. This is not viable if the only place is ISS." The other place will be Bob Bigelow's space hotel. Bigelow is on track to build a commercial space station on the next decade, using inflatable modules.


One of the best things about the CST-100 is that it will be reusable ten times, only requiring maintenance and a new heat shield. No price tag yet for the rocket ride or the stay at the space station. [The Register]

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