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Forum:Commercial Space - Military Space
Topic:[Discuss] Boeing Company's CST-100 spacecraft
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SpaceAholicHave learned through some local governmental officials that a dry lake bed here in our county not to far from where I reside (the Wilcox Playa) is being seriously considered by NASA and Boeing as a recovery location for the CST-100.

Inquiries have gone out to the hospital, law enforcement and public safety agencies to determine what level of organic support can be provided and what will need to be brought in by stakeholders. 2017 was cited as when ops will commence at the Playa.

Robert PearlmanBoeing video release
Boeing Unveils America's First Space Taxi, Unlocks Possibilities for Future

Imagine flying in America's first space taxi, seeing Earth fade into the distance. Boeing is revolutionizing space travel and is one step closer to making it possible for you to experience previously what only astronauts could: space travel.

See more Boeing innovations at

Lou ChinalAny proposal for duration of the first mission? Crew size?
Robert PearlmanBoeing (and for that matter, SpaceX too) has said it is too early to discuss the details of their first uncrewed or crewed test flights.

The only NASA requirement for the crewed demo is that it carry at least one NASA astronaut and that it reaches the space station.

HeadshotCan anyone tell me what the differences will be between the CST-100 and Orion spacecraft?

I know the CST-100 will operate in LEO and the Orion will venture into deep space, but what are the physical/engineering/technical characteristics (besides different "heat shields") to make one suitable for LEO and the other for deep space? GNC systems? Propulsion? ECS?

Robert PearlmanD. All of the above. But to offer one specific example:

CST-100 is equipped with batteries and, to meet NASA's requirements, solar cells lining its bottom, such that it only has enough electricity reserves to reach the space station.

Orion is equipped with batteries as well, but its service module is also outfitted with large solar arrays to generate the electricity needed for longer journeys into space.

Lou ChinalIt was stated that a 12 inch-wide model about 1/14 the size was used for wind tunnel tests. That would mean the CST-100 is 14 feet or 168 inches in diameter? Artists, model builders, graphic designers want to get the scale right.

I have scoured Boeing's website for dimensions. Am I missing something?

Robert PearlmanBoeing plans to announce this summer the crew that will be on a test flight of the company's CST-100 crew vehicle in 2017, as well as reveal the pressure suits the crew will wear, SpaceNews reports.
John Elbon, vice president and general manager for space exploration at Boeing, said in an interview here April 15 that the company hoped to announce this summer the two-person crew that will fly on that test flight, planned for the middle of 2017. One crewmember will be a Boeing test pilot, and the other a NASA astronaut.

Elbon also said Boeing will also unveil later this summer the pressure suits the crew will wear on the vehicle. Those suits are being developed by David Clark Co. of Worcester, Massachusetts, a firm that also developed the pressure suit worn by astronauts on space shuttle missions.

Robert PearlmanFrom Boeing on Twitter:
Upper and lower domes that will form Pressure Shell for CST-100 structural tests arrive at NASA Kennedy.
Robert PearlmanFrom NASA Langley Research Center:
CST-100 Starliner is readied for landing tests at NASA Langley.

SkyMan1958I'm a little surprised by the current posting about the testing of the RL10 engines. What surprises me is that the engine produces "22,300 pounds of thrust" and that only two will be used on the upper stage of the Atlas V to launch the CST-100.

This would give the upper stage 44,600 pounds of thrust, which seems low compared to the single Merlin of a Falcon 9 rocket (with the V1.1 producing 180,000 lbs. of thrust, while the FT variant produces 210,000 lbs. of thrust). Is the upper stage of the Atlas V really only going to produce 44,600 pounds of thrust?

Robert PearlmanYes, a dual engine Centaur generates 44,600 lbf.

Both Atlas V and Falcon 9 have capability to spare to launch Starliner and Dragon missions to low Earth orbit.

Jim BehlingThe MVac is throttled and doesn't produce full thrust for most of the burn duration.

Also to enable first stage recovery, the Falcon 9 stages at different velocities than Atlas does and this requires the Falcon 9 second stage to fight gravity losses more than Atlas.

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