02:02 GMT +320 September 2018
Listen Live
    CST-100 Starliner

    Boeing Unveils ‘Starliner’ Spaceship Plant at Cape Canaveral

    © Photo: NASA
    Tech
    Get short URL
    0 148

    Much-anticipated Starliner spaceships by Boeing will be assembled in a hangar once used for NASA’s space shuttles, after the grand opening ceremony of the assembly plant took place at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday.

    The “21st century space capsule” as Boeing refers to its newest commercial CST-100 (Crew Space Transportation) Starliner spacecraft, is scheduled for takeoff from Cape Canaveral in February 2017 for a test flight which, along with six regular flights by NASA, is expected to cost $4.2 billion.

    This Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 photo made available by NASA shows a mural depicting Boeing's newly named CST-100 Starliner commercial crew transportation spacecraft on the company's Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida
    © AP Photo / NASA via AP
    This Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 photo made available by NASA shows a mural depicting Boeing's newly named CST-100 Starliner commercial crew transportation spacecraft on the company's Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida

    The Starliner will be launched aboard Atlas 5 rockets, and will bring crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and, possibly, to other low-orbit space bases to be opened in the future.

    The main commercial competitor for the Starliner, SpaceX-s Dragon V2, whose contract with NASA is worth $2.6 billion, is also under development. Both capsules are capable of bringing up to 7 crew members or about 2,500 kg (5,500 lbs) of hardware, food and clothing.

    “These missions will enable NASA and our international partners to perform more research on the orbiting laboratory, nearly doubling today’s scientific research potential,” NASA's Commercial Crew Program Manager Kathryn Lueders said. “They also offer a unique capability of serving as a space station lifeboat for up to 210 days, keeping our crew members safe in the event of an emergency.”

    Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg stressed that the ultimate success of Starliner will largely depend on customers beyond NASA. Boeing is already cooperating with privately owned Bigelow Aerospace to provide space transportation services, and the company plans to lease out space aboard its prospective orbiting outposts for scientific and commercial programs. A prototype Bigelow habitat is due to be launched and attached to ISS by early next year for a two-year test flight.

    Today, Russian spacecraft remain the only means of bringing astronauts to the ISS due to NASA's 2011 decision to abandon the space shuttle program, and this will remain the case until the shuttle's replacement becomes available in 2017.

    Orbital Delivery
    © Sputnik /
    Orbital Delivery

    Related:

    Russian Dominance in Space Continues After SpaceX Explosion – US Media
    Russia’s ‘Progress-M28M’ Cargo Spacecraft Successfully Docks With ISS
    Occupy Mars: US Astronaut Announces Plan to Inhabit the Red Planet by 2040
    Amateur Skywatchers Spot Secret X-37B Spaceplane in Orbit
    Tags:
    spacecraft, International Space Station (ISS), space, SpaceX, Boeing, Cape Canaveral, United States, Florida
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment