Feeds

Bubble-baron Bigelow bags Boeing boosters

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: 'Bob, bless him'

More from The Register

next story
Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
Speculation rife, but Orbital claims it's too early to tell
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.