Boeing’s CST-100 Sets Sights On Space Transport

By  //  March 3, 2013

Loading the player ...
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This

Company Aims For Test Flights By 2015

BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – As the field dwindles for funding in NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program, Boeing’s CST-100 continues to be a major player along with Space X’s Dragon, Blue Origin’s Space Vehicle and Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser spacecraft.

The CST-100 spacecraft is compatible for launch aboard Atlas V rockets. (Image courtesy Boeing Company)

Boeing was awarded $460 million from NASA in August in the third round of Commercial Crew development funding.

The CST-100 is a reusable spacecraft that can transport up to seven astronauts or provide a combination of astronauts and cargo.

Design of the Boeing CST-100 allows the spacecraft to be compatible with an array of launch systems and is compatible with a variety of expendable rockets including the Atlas V, Falcon 9 and Delta IV rockets.

The spacecraft is made up of a crew module and service module and reusable for a maximum of 10 flights.

Boeing engineers say the CST-100 has an expansive and organized interior that reduces the need for bulky equipment required to sustain a low-Earth orbit.

Boeing’s CST-100 will be able to sustain a crew of seven astronauts for up to seven months in a reusable spacecraft. (Image courtesy Boeing Company)


In May, Boeing successfully completed a second parachute drop test of the CST-100 in Nevada which demonstrated the performance of the spacecraft’s reusable landing system.

Lifted by a helicopter to an altitude of about 14,000 feet, the CST-100 capsule tested and deployed a parachute system that guided the spacecraft to a ground landing that was softened by six inflated air bags.

In July, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne wrapped up testing for its orbital maneuvering and attitude control thrusters being used on the CST-100.

The spacecraft will employ 24 Rocketdyne thrusters for in-space maneuvering and Rocketdyne also is responsible for the CST-100’s launch abort system to help separate the capsule from a rocket if a problem occurs during liftoff.

An artist illustration of Boeing’s CST-100 capsule approaching Bigelow’s inflatable orbiting complex. (Image courtesy of Boeing/Bigelow)


In developing the CST-100, Boeing has partnered with Bieglow Aerospace of Nevada, which is planning to create and launch its own new orbiting space complex similar to the International Space Station.

The CST-100 would ferry crews and cargo to the International Space Station and to Bigelow’s Genesis I and Genesis private inflatable space habitats along with space transport for other low-Earth missions.

Boeing will be conducting additional tests of the CST-100’s landing air bag, heat shield jettison and orbital maneuvering/attitude control engine over the course of the next year.

In another partnership with Space Florida, Boeing has leased NASA’s Orbiter Processing Facility 3 for manufacturing and testing of the CST-100 spacecraft.

Depending upon funding, initial test flights for the spacecraft could be launched from Cape Canaveral aboard United Launch Alliance Atlas V rockets starting in 2015.

Click here to contribute your news or announcements Free