Boeing wins contract for new “space taxi”
The U.S. is going back to space and just as in the heyday of the “space race”, Boeing will be providing the vehicles.
On Wednesday, NASA announced it was awarding part of a new contract to build a new space vehicle to Associated Industries of Missouri Circle of Elite Organizations member Boeing.
Boeing Aerospace, to be more precise, will design and build a new “space taxi” to fly back and forth and dock with the international space station. This will allow U.S. astronauts to fly to the station on their own schedule and save NASA the $71 million per seat fee it now pays Russia for flights on Soyuz rockets.
The contract between NASA and Boeing is said to amount to $4.2 billion with flights to the space station to commence as early as 2017.
Boeing is developing a space vehicle especially designed for carrying crew and supplies to the space station. The CST-100 capsule looks similar to Boeing-designed capsules we became accustomed to during the Gemini and Apollo programs. Unlike those capsules, the CST-100 is designed to return to earth on land. It’s also much roomier than those earlier capsules with room to carry up to 7 astronauts.
The craft was designed by Boeing engineers in Houston, Texas, and will be built at Cape Kennedy Space Center in Florida.