It looks like the gap the US will be facing in getting its own astronauts into orbit (without depending on foreign nations to do it) may be shorted than expected.
Boeing put out some information on their CST-100 spacecraft, which they say is a bit bigger than Apollo, but a bit smaller than Orion.
What’s exciting about this is that they have completed 50 to 60 % of their milestones (if I read that right) and have met each one on time or ahead of schedule. (Something of a small miracle when it comes to designing new spacecraft). They’re saying they are on-track to beat NASA’s goal of putting it into operation in 2016.
Boeing certainly has the technical expertise to pull all this off and it sounds like things are going very well.
Here’s an artists rendering:
Helping to pave the road for the future of commercial spaceflight, Boeing is hard at work on the research and development of a new space capsule aimed at flying people to the International Space Station. Credit: Boeing
Isn’t the Earth pretty? More of us need to get up there and see it with our own eyes. Quite the perspective changer… especially from a modest distance of say, the Moon. I, for one, can’t wait.
In other space picture news… here’s a rare vantage point on Shuttle Atlantis’ recent (and last scheduled) flight. I put this one in here specifically for Jax as Atlantis is her favorite shuttle. Can’t actually see much of Atlantis, smoke and fire and all, but still I thought it was neat.
Lt. Col. Gabriel Green and Capt. Zachary Bartoe patrol the skies over Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in an F-15E Strike Eagle as the Space Shuttle Atlantis launches into space for the last time. During the patrol, Strike Eagle aircrews identified and redirected five aircraft that inadvertently violated the airspace restriction put in place for the launch. Colonel Green is the 333rd Fighter Squadron commander and Captain Bartoe is a 333rd FS weapons system officer. Both aircrew members are assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, N.C. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. John Peltier