What The World Has To Watch Out For: Boeing’s Commercial Space Travel
What’s Boeing busy with if they are not building aircraft? Have you heard about CST-100?
It’s one of a variety of commercial spacecraft being developed by private companies for the Commercial Crew Program of NASA. The spacecraft is the replacement for the retired space shuttle that transports cargo and crews to the International Space Station (ISS).
Mockup Interior Designs OF Boeing CST-100
In a recent press release, Boeing showed the first images of the interior design intended for the Boeing CST-100 (Crew Space Transportation). So far, Boeing’s released images are just design mockups that more or less depict how the new commercial interior might look like.
The Boeing CST-100 is like a Star Trek space craft with a very unique interior, different from what the usual manned spaceflight look like. From the images released by Boeing, the interior design of the CST-100 – a collaborative effort between Boeing and Bigelow Aerospace, is very clean and appears like it’s something out of a science fiction movie. It has:
- no complex assemblage of buttons and switches
- no readouts
- the general aviation look resulting from a weldless design
It is a pressure vessel with a capability of flying up to 10 missions before it is replaced or retired. The CST-100 can carry up to 7 passengers or a combination of cargo and passengers to low-Earth-orbit destinations such as the planned Bigelow space station and the ISS.
What’s Inside Boeing CST-100
Passenger seats are made of lightweight plastic materials while the pilot’s seat seems to float. What it lacks in valves, lockers and aerospace rivets, it makes up for with an abundance of portholes where passengers can get a good view of space during the journey. Some of the portholes are very large for a space capsule. Additionally, there are conical objects on the aft bulkhead as well as slotted diaphragms which are intended for storage. To help the spacecraft passengers maintain their sense of connection with Earth, Boeing designers integrated a daytime blue sky imagery through a blue indirect lighting scheme.
Future Of Space Travel
As explained by the current Boeing director of Crew and Mission Operations for the Commercial Crew Program, Chris Ferguson, Boeing is moving into an undeniably commercial space market. They are looking beyond the usual needs of NASA and what it looks for in a next-generation commercial spacecraft. The new interior is a statement of Boeing’s projection on what could be a future trend – paying passengers who want to get a taste and experience of space adventure.
Boeing’s Design Expertise And Experience
The Boeing engineers leverage the company’s decades of experience in both government and commercial aerospace to develop the interior of the spacecraft. Boeing has been known for their expertise in designing innovative interiors for airplanes so designing for the next-generation interior is considered a natural progression.
Launch-ability On Different Rockets
The Boeing’s CST-100 is designed with the capability to launch a variety of rockets including Delta, Space X Falcon and Atlas. In high-stakes competition with Sierra Nevada and SpaceX in developing a commercial spacecraft, Boeing together with two other companies are the recipient of NASA’s financial support through the Commercial Crew program.
Can we expect to see more of the likes of the Boeing CST-100 in the not-so-distant future?