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Seven Passenger Space Taxi becomes a reality with NASA Commercial Crew Program

by Russel 2011-10-31 12:51


Seven Seater Space taxi DockingWith the Shuttle Fleet retirement the United States is dependent on foreign rockets to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, a $100 billion international project of sixteen nations that orbits 240 miles above Earth. NASA is spending about $350 million a year for space flight services provided by Russia for the transportation of payloads to the international space station. NASA new space project for a heavy-lift rocket and deep-space capsule that can travel to much deeper space destinations beyond the station, to the Moon and to asteroids, requires funding which could be obtained by freeing up NASA money. It could be done by turning over the orbital transportation services to and from the international space station to private firms.

The new Boeing Space Exploration CST-100 project will develop, test and operate the seven-passenger spaceships, the CST-100s. It will create hundreds of new local jobs by basing the CST-100 program to develop passenger spaceships at the Florida Kennedy Space Center for the next four years. The passenger spaceship will be used first by NASA and after thorough testing will later become available for the commercial use.

Space Taxi Boeing CST-100 PrototypeThe upcoming age of commercial crew space orbital transportation with CST-100 space taxi as an initial step is facilitated by NASA Commercial Crew Program. CST-100 project goal is to achieve safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and other orbital destinations. The new reusable space taxi programme will be employing the best of the latest technologies. One example is the three times more accurate GPS III Global Positioning System satellite constellation GPS navigation technology currently developed by Lockheed Martin and NASA. The new GPS III programme is is preparing for the scheduled launch of the first GPS III satellite in 2014 which is in sync with the project schedule of the commercial space taxi targeting year 2015 as its major milestone. GPS-III allows for high precision operation, improving position, GPS navigation, autopilot and timing services protected by advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability.   

Boeing Space Exploration CST-100 project is going to use the skilled Florida Kennedy Space Center workforce, the spacecraft development, construction and testing facilities and the rich project management infrastructure build over decades with the NASA customer base. Partnership with state backed agencies, such as Space Florida, will also help bolster the rapidly expanding commercial space industry in the Space Coast region. The CST-100 reusable capsule-shaped spacecraft developed by Boeing consists of a crew module and service module for transporting up to seven people. It could be also used to carry cargo payloads to outer space. NASA partnership with Space Florida plans to occupy, use and modify Kennedy Space Center's Processing Control Center, the Orbiter Processing Facility and the Space Shuttle Engine Processing Facility to accommodate for the initial phases of the space taxi project.

With NASA approach to move the center of gravity from relying on the foreign space services and redistributing the space program funds to Boeing's space taxi project, and forming new partnerships with private sector space discovery innovators including privately owned Blue Origin, Space Exploration Technologies, and Sierra Nevada Corp. developing a winged space plane that resembles the legendary Shuttle. The Kennedy Space Center will continue its business operations. The Space Florida and the private sector partnership will build the new commercial passenger spaceship program on the proven and reliable spacecraft operations platform which lays the groundwork for a world-class commercial space industry. The projected $850 million investment in the commercial passenger spaceship innovation program opens the new era of space exploration for the United Space to remain the leader in the deep space discovery and exploration. 

Reusable Space Taxi





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