Boeing, Bigelow Show Off Interior of CST-100, Commercial Space Habitat

46 Comments
Commercial interior of the Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) next-generation manned space capsule, (Credit: Boeing)

Commercial interior of the Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) next-generation manned space capsule, (Credit: Boeing)

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 30, 2014 (Boeing PR) — Boeing [NYSE:BA] today unveiled a new commercial interior of its Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) next-generation manned space capsule, showing how people other than NASA astronauts may one day travel to space.

Boeing and partner Bigelow Aerospace highlighted the future commercial interior of the capsule it is developing for NASA, while Bigelow showcased a full-scale model of its BA 330 commercial space habitat.

“We are moving into a truly commercial space market and we have to consider our potential  customers – beyond NASA – and what they need in a future commercial spacecraft interior,”  said Chris Ferguson, former Space Shuttle Atlantis commander and current Boeing director of Crew and Mission Operations for the Commercial Crew Program.

Engineers from across Boeing leveraged the company’s decades of experience in commercial and government aerospace to design the capsule’s interior.

“Boeing’s teams have been designing award-winning and innovative interiors for our airplanes since the dawn of commercial aviation,” said Rachelle Ornan, regional director of Sales and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Designing the next-generation interior for commercial space is a natural progression. A familiar daytime blue sky scene helps passengers maintain their connection with Earth.”

CST-100, developed as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability initiative, is designed to transport up to seven crew members or a mix of crew and cargo to low-Earth-orbit destinations such as the International Space Station and a planned Bigelow station.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 57,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

  • Cicero

    The commercial CST-100 interior design is pretty sharp. I wonder how Dragon interior will look after it’s unveiled next month.

  • delphinus100

    Looks like they talked to their 787 interior design people (here’s hoping they don’t use the same batteries)…

  • Tonya

    Well that’s a surprise, someone actually bothered to make the interior look nice rather than just functional. Though I wonder if it will start looking a bit more like the inside of an old submarine when they build the real thing.

  • Jeff Smith

    Looks like the bridge of the Enterprise. Nice! At least this generation of spaceships will LOOK cool.

  • therealdmt

    Boeing definitely wins the ‘Coolest Interior’ award.

    Looks sweet.

  • k6mfw

    Looks too pretty for me, though I’d not want something like an old submarine but something solid, functional, ergonomic like a 787 cockpit with plenty of systems to be sure nothing goes wrong or be able diagnose problems at 17500 mph at 200 miles altitude.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    “…with plenty of systems to be sure nothing goes wrong or be able diagnose problems at 17500 mph at 200 miles altitude.”
    In my opinion it would be best to keep humans out of the loop. There is nothing that passengers can do that the vehicle itself and/or ground support cannot do better. The idea of “a pilot” being “in control” is antiquated and dangerous.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    Question:
    What shape and size is the internal space and overall vehicle that accommodates the mock-up depicted in the photo?.

  • Nikolay Moiseev

    Nice sharp design! But I recognized absence of launch couch like on Apollo. Shock absorbers like for Soyuz chairs are much stronger than on picture. I think it is real problem right now as for CST-100 and as for Orion… Very costly problem.

  • Hug Doug
  • Michael Vaicaitis

    and does the top picture fit in there?

  • Aerospike

    Is there really only this one single picture available?

  • Hug Doug

    presumably. why would they design an interior layout that would not fit in the space they have available???

  • Hug Doug

    apparently. in spite of much searching, i can only find that one picture. plenty of other pictures of the CST-100 mockups, but no more of this slick spacey design.

  • getitdoneinspace

    Very aesthetically pleasing. Even though I am a SpaceX fan, I have to say it is pretty sharp. Is that a cup holder next to the seat? Just kidding. But comfort will become increasingly important as this industry matures but that may be years away, so it will be very interesting to see what SpaceX unveils. The Tesla cars are very appealing. Wonder if Elon is only focusing on function first for the spacecraft. Don’t think anyone, at this point, would choose CST-100 over Dragon because of a nice blue light. Even though I like good looking interiors, not getting distracted from the function may be the right move for now. But let us wait and see what SpaceX shows us the end of this month.

  • Hug Doug

    i’ve done some more digging around. based on the chair layout alone, that picture must depict a crew ONLY layout for the CST, since the way that the seats are arranged eliminates any area that they might have put cargo. it is a departure from how the seats were laid out in previous CST mockups.

    my conclusion is based on this image i dug up.

    http://gallery.military.ir/albums/userpics/10198/54351546543542.jpg

  • Aerospike

    I too could not find anything else. Pretty unimpressive for a big revealing. I mean it sure looks nice, but it doesn’t really show a lot.

  • Hug Doug

    i’ve done some more digging around. based on the chair layout alone, that picture must depict a crew ONLY layout for the CST, since the way that the seats are arranged eliminates any area that they might have put cargo. it is a departure from how the seats were laid out in previous CST mockups.

    my conclusion is based on this image i dug up.

    http://gallery.military.ir/albums/userpics/10198/54351546543542.jpg

  • Paul451

    Then don’t think “pilot”, think technician. Someone to keep the computer and ground support talking.

    (Sometimes you need someone to turn the computer off and turn it on again.)

  • Paul451

    I still don’t really see the point of “chairs”. Gravitationally, there’s no flight regime where you are “seated”. Either you are laying on your back, being thrown randomly around in your harness, or in free-fall. Something closer to a bed would make more sense. And make it easer to climb over when entering and exiting the craft, particularly after an emergency abort, with the interior blacked out, pitching in a stormy sea.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    In this, admittedly quite impressive interior design, they seem to have made it large enough for at least 5 across and there’s a corner in the far side of this round capsule.

  • Hug Doug

    “Gravitationally, there’s no flight regime where you are “seated”.”

    that’s kind of beside the point. obviously during launch and landing you’re laying on your back, but that doesn’t mean you need a “bed.”

    the “laying on your back in a seated position” is the best position for handling high g forces. it allows the blood from your legs to pool into your torso, which helps you to not pass out. it also provides much better support for your back.

  • Paul451

    the “laying on your back in a seated position” is the best position for handling high g forces. it allows the blood from your legs to pool into your torso, which helps you to not pass out.

    That makes no sense. If you are laying flat, your head and feet are at the same level, blood won’t pool in the lower abdomen causing you to black out. OTOH, with your legs raised, g-load pulling blood out of the legs and into the upper torso increases the risk of clotting in the lower torso, or aneurysm in the upper. (Or even just causing “red out”.)

    And prolonged time in that pose even under 1g, say during a delayed launch, could leave your legs numb (from reduced blood-flow) if you suddenly need to climb out (say, an emergency abort landing).

    Try it. Lay on the ground with your legs up against a wall. See how long it takes before your legs start to feel numb. Imagine being stuck in that position for a couple of hours during a hold.

    it also provides much better support for your back.

    All you need is a slight “hump” at the knees and lumbar. There’s nothing supportive about lying on your back with your feet in the air.

  • Alain Nestos

    This is not a real picture, right? Only CGI?
    Or am I wrong?

  • Hug Doug

    all right. then why don’t you have a crack at explaining why all spacecraft use the “laying on your back in a seated position”

  • Hug Doug

    what makes you think it is a real picture?

  • Terry Rawnsley

    Perhaps I missed it. Where’s Bigelow’s layout?

  • Hug Doug
  • Paul451

    Bigelow is a partner in the CST-100. That’s what the article title refers to.

    Ie, that capsule is Boeing’s and Bigelow’s layout.

  • Cicero

    Yeah, I’m no insider on these things, but I think it’s fair to say Dragon will definitely be chosen for Commercial Crew, whether or not SNC or Boeing are also selected.

    Besides, Dragon has what really matters… super draco thrusters. Serious style points for the “dragon nostrils”

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v480/punkboi/punkboi2/main2_DragonRider_002.jpg

    CST-100 has more room, but Dragon has wings.

  • windbourne

    Actually, the old ones looked cool as well. Just dated.

  • windbourne

    In light of what is going on with Russia, and now the house republicans backing off on their support of Russia, I think that we will see all 3 human launchers supported.

  • Aaron Harford

    True. The capsules used in Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo that are on display are amazing, but remind me of my grandfather’s 1960 Chevy pickup. Simple, reliable, and got the job done but geez….I was always thinking…”We went to SPACE, the most dangerous environment yet known to man, in this?”

  • Aaron Harford

    Interesting observation though…why not use “chairs” that are simply built into the walls? They’d take up less space, and I can’t see a reason to have them perched above the interior of the spacecraft.

  • Aaron Harford

    Might work for now, but bad planning for the future. When you’re on the way to our moon or Mars, no one else is going to save you; at least not directly. I wouldn’t want to rely on mission control when on a trip across the solar system, and they are smack dab behind the sun where we can’t even communicate with them. That would be my luck….

  • Hug Doug

    it looks more like their backs are built into the floor, except for the pilot’s chair. i imagine that is suspended from the ceiling so they can use more of the available “floor” space to fit people in. without seeing more pictures from a lot more different angles, it’s really hard to tell.

  • Aaron Harford

    To a point, but I mean actually molded into the wall of the capsule so the seats do not protrude at all. Kind of like sitting on the wall. More space in these tiny spaceships. About time we built bigger ones. I want to travel on the Mars Colonial Transporter with enough space to be comfortable over the 6-9 month journey. Not some tin can.

  • Hug Doug

    keep in mind that bigger spaceships will be heavier, and require bigger rockets, which increases the associated costs with designing and building them. anything much larger than the commercial crew capsules and you have to start talking about Saturn V sized launch vehicles.

    anything going to Mars will have to have some sort of additional habitat module, with food and other supplies for the long journey as well as additional living space, launched separately. doing an all-up launch with just one vehicle isn’t really economically viable.

  • Aaron Harford

    Yes, but that is the direction we are going. Space X is gearing up to test Raptor methane engines, which will make the Saturn V look small. With reusability, the colonial transport ships will be built and cycling back and forth before we hit retirement age.

  • Hug Doug

    we’ll see what is actually done with the Raptor engines. until SpaceX actually announces a rocket design, speculation will just be too wild to come to any kind of conclusion.

  • Aaron Harford

    Seeing as how Space X has already transformed the rocket industry and built their engines from the ground up, coupled with everything else they’ve already accomplished, the time for being skeptical towards them is over. The test stand is already built, and they are commencing testing this year.

  • Hug Doug

    i’m not skeptical of anything they’ve accomplished so far, but wild speculation about what the Raptor is going to do is still premature.

    there are plenty of rocket engines that have never been actually put on a rocket.

  • Alain Nestos

    The title “Boeing today UNVEILED a new commercial interior of its Crew Space Transportation”.

  • Alain Nestos

    Hey, you have not yet seen the interior of the other competitors !

  • Hug Doug

    They sure did. the interior layout is completely different from previously.

  • http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/ Robert Clark

    A heck of a lot better than the interior of the Soyuz.

    Bob Clark