Feeds

Bubble-baron Bigelow bags Boeing boosters

'Bob, bless him, is the nearest thing to commercial space'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Farnborough Colourful inflatable space-bubble kingpin Robert Bigelow has allied with US aerospace globocorp Boeing for the purpose of "making space travel commercial the way air travel became commercial a century ago".

Model Bigelow space station at Farnborough 2010

Overheard at the briefing: 'There will definitely be less Krazy Glue involved in the real one'

Bigelow and execs from Boeing's Space Exploration division briefed reporters yesterday at the Farnborough Airshow on plans for Boeing to build a new, low-cost manned launch vehicle called Crew Space Transportation (CST) 100.

CST-100 could carry up to seven passengers or cargo to manned space stations in orbit. It would be aimed at NASA's new Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) initiative, intended to contract the business of moving US astronauts to and from low orbit out of NASA and into the private sector. Commercial crew launchers are intended to replace the space shuttle fleet for carrying crew to an from the International Space Station (ISS), while NASA moves forward with "deep space" manned missions beyond the Moon.

According to Boeing, however, NASA CCDev ISS work on its own wouldn't merit the company developing a new people-carrying launcher.

"There needs to be more than one place to go," says Boeing's Roger Krone. "This is not viable if the only place is ISS."

According to Bigelow and Boeing, if they are offered adequate amounts of CCDev cash, CST-100 could be making test flights in 2014 and carrying paying customers to Bigelow stations in 2015. At the moment, however, Boeing has only a small $18m contract with NASA under which it is carrying forward design work with Bigelow Aerospace as a subcontractor.

There is scepticism both within NASA and among politicians in Washington as to whether private-sector craft are ready to carry astronauts safely. However Boeing argues that this viewpoint is engendered more by upstart newcomers such as Elon Musk's SpaceX firm with its brand-new rocket and capsule designs.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Next page: 'Bob, bless him'

More from The Register

next story
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Asteroid's SHOCK DINO MURDER SPREE just bad luck - boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.