KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – ‘Starliner’ is the new name of America’s next spaceship. The new commercial craft from Boeing will restore America’s capability to launch American astronauts from American soil to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2017.
The magnificent capsule is already taking shape! Built by Boeing, Starliner was officially announced by Boeing and NASA as the new name of the company’s CST-100 commercial crew transportation spacecraft during the Grand Opening event for the craft’s manufacturing facility at the Kennedy Space Center on Friday, Sept 4. 2015, which I attended as media for Universe Today.
Starliner counts as history’s first privately developed ‘Space Taxi’ to carry humans to space – along with the Crew Dragon being simultaneously developed by SpaceX. It is ushering in the new commercial era of space flight and will completely revolutionize how we access, explore and exploit space for the benefit of all mankind. The vehicle is mostly automated for ease of operation and is capable of transporting astronaut crews of four or more to low Earth orbit and the ISS as soon as mid 2017, if all goes well and Congress approves the required funding.
The ‘Starliner’ will be produced in Boeing’s newly revamped manufacturing facility dubbed the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility (C3PF) on site at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The building was previously known as Orbiter Processing Facility-2 (OPF-3) and used by NASA to process the agency’s space shuttle orbiters between crewed flights during the three decade long space shuttle program.
Starliner will launch on an Atlas V from pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It can dock at the ISS within 24 hours and can stay docked for 6 months. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden awarded Boeing a $4.2 billion contract in September 2014 to complete development and manufacture of the CST-100 space taxi under the agency’s Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) program and NASA’s Launch America initiative.
The commercial crew program is designed to return human spaceflight launches to the United States and end our sole-source reliance on Russia and the Soyuz capsule for all manned flights to the ISS.
For complete details about the Boeing Starliner, see my recent articles and photos at Universe Today and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kremerken1
Astronomy Outreach by Dr. Ken Kremer
Atlas/Cygnus Launch to ISS: Dec 1-3, NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL. Evening outreach at Quality Inn, Titusville, FL
America’s Human Path Back to Space and Mars with Orion, Starliner and Dragon: Dec 8, 7:30 PM, AAAP, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Please contact Ken for more info, science outreach presentations and his space photos. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.kenkremer.com http://www.universetoday.com/author/ken-kremer/ https://www.facebook.com/kremerken1