Meet the CST-100 Starliner, the newly unveiled name of Boeing’s commercial crew transportation spacecraft. It’s been designed with a focus on automated flight, reliable operation and frequent flights carrying NASA astronauts to the space station. It also may take paying customers to the awe-inspiring heights of low-Earth orbit and the unique sensation of sustained weightlessness.
Boeing CST-100 to Transport U.S. Astronauts to the International Space Station
The CST-100 spacecraft in development by Boeing Space Exploration of Houston, Texas, will -advance beyond the design phase and be put into manufacturing for flight tests and eventual operational missions to the International Space Station. NASA selected the company’s crew transportation system and spacecraft for a contract in the final phase of certification for privately built and operated integrated systems to carry astronauts from American soil to the orbiting laboratory.
The agency unveiled its selection of Boeing and SpaceX to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station using their CST-100 and Crew Dragon spacecraft, respectively, with a goal of ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia in 2017.
These Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts are designed to complete the NASA certification for human space transportation systems capable of carrying people into orbit. Once certification is complete, NASA plans to use these systems to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station and return them safely to Earth.
The companies selected to provide this transportation capability and the maximum potential value of their FAR-based firm fixed-price contracts are:
— The Boeing Company, Houston, $4.2 billion
— Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Hawthorne, California, $2.6 billion