Inside KSC: CST-100 Starliner, VAB Work

Video Caption: NASA and Boeing entered in an agreement with Bastion Technologies for the company to build training mock-ups and ground support equipment for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner. In Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building, half of the 10 work platforms now have been installed to surround the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, providing access during preflight processing.

  • JamesG

    If Boeing put as much work into building their spacecraft as they did promoting it, they’d probably be done by now…

  • Rob

    Oh snap!

  • windbourne

    I think that you would have to agree that SpaceX puts a LOT more effort into promoting themselves than does Boeing.

  • Terry Rawnsley

    Still waiting on SpaceX to fly. Atlas 5 has flown way more than Falcon 9 and no one has yet flown their man-rated capsules. Of course, nobody tops SNC for hype.

  • Rob

    True, but they’re also building a much more innovative capsule.

  • Rob

    SNC has the disadvantage of choosing a spaceplane, which creates a lot of unique challenges. Unlike Boeing, they’ve at least built a functional airframe.

    And SpaceX is flying Dragon 1 on a regular basis, which provides a lot of data for Dragon 2.

  • windbourne

    other than landing, how is theirs anymore innovative than Boeing’s?

  • Rob

    Powered landings are a huge engineering feat, but that’s hardly the extent of its innovations:

    Vastly streamlined flight controls. Starliner has large banks of physical controls.

    Near-complete reusability. Only the trunk (including the solar panels and radiators) are expended. Starliner expends both its service module (containing many of the vehicle’s most expensive components) and heatshield.

    Steep sidewalls, giving it unique reentry aerodynamics and heating profiles. Starliner (like Orion) uses the Apollo profile.

    Accuracy reentry guidance via ballast shifting. Starliner presumably uses a permanently offset center of gravity plus roll control thrusters.