Feeds

Bubble-baron Bigelow bags Boeing boosters

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

A new approach to endpoint data protection

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.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Next page: 'Bob, bless him'

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?