Tag: CST-100Page 2 of 12

Boeing Revamps Production Facility for Starliner Flights

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Starliner_in_space
By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Meet the CST-100 Starliner, the newly unveiled name of Boeing’s commercial crew transportation spacecraft. It’s been designed with a focus on automated flight, reliable operation and frequent flights carrying NASA astronauts to the space station. It also may take paying customers to the awe-inspiring heights of low-Earth orbit and the unique sensation of sustained weightlessness.

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Boeing to Open Processing Facility at KSC

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Concept of the floor of the CST-100 assembly facility that Boeing envisions at Kennedy Space Center. (Credit: Boeing)

Concept of the floor of the CST-100 assembly facility that Boeing envisions at Kennedy Space Center. (Credit: Boeing)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will participate in the grand opening of The Boeing Company’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday, Sept. 4. The event will air live on NASA Television beginning at 10 a.m. EDT.

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CST-100 Structure Test Article Domes Arrive at KSC

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Pressure dome for CST-100 structural test article. (Credit: Boeing)

Pressure dome for CST-100 structural test article. (Credit: Boeing)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The first two domes that will form the pressure shell of the Structural Test Article, or STA, for Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft have arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

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NASA Selects 4 Astronauts to Train for First Commercial Spaceflights

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NASA has selected experienced astronauts Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams to work closely with The Boeing Company and SpaceX to develop their crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

NASA has selected experienced astronauts Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams to work closely with The Boeing Company and SpaceX to develop their crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected four astronauts to train and prepare for commercial spaceflights that will return American launches to U.S. soil and further open up low-Earth orbit transportation to the private sector. The selections are the latest major milestone in the Obama Administration’s plan to partner with U.S. industry to transport astronauts to space, create good-paying American jobs and end the nation’s sole reliance on Russia for space travel.

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Aitech to Provide Components, Services for Boeing’s CST-100 Spacecraft

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Chris Ferguson of The Boeing Company works through scenarios inside the cockpit simulator of the CST-100 under development. (Credit:  NASA/Bill Stafford)

Chris Ferguson of The Boeing Company works through scenarios inside the cockpit simulator of the CST-100 under development. (Credit: NASA/Bill Stafford)

CHATSWORTH, Calif. (Aitech PR) – Aitech Defense Systems Inc. was recently awarded a contract by The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] to provide space-grade products and services to support the Commercial Crew Transportation System (CCTS) and Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft, part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Aitech has been commissioned to develop and produce the crew interface system computer and displays used to physically control and maneuver the capsule.  The new subsystem, consisting of a display computer, pilot and copilot displays and keypads, gives the space crew reliable, precision control of the craft using the pilots’ rotational and translational hand controllers.

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Paragon Awarded CST-100 Contract

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Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

TUCSON, Ariz. (Paragon PR) – Paragon was recently awarded a contract by The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] to provide services to support their Crew Space Transportation System (CCTS) and Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft. Specifically, Paragon will provide the CST-100 Humidity Control Subassembly (HCS) for cabin atmospheric humidity control.

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Boeing Uses Langley Expertise for CST-100 Crew Vehicle

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A CST-100 mock up splashes down during a test at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., during tests of the Boeing spacecraft's handling. (Credit: NASA/Dave Bowman)

A CST-100 mock up splashes down during a test at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., during tests of the Boeing spacecraft’s handling. (Credit: NASA/Dave Bowman)

by Sasha Congiu
NASA’s Langley Research Center

Whether testing a model of the Boeing CST-100 capsule in a wind tunnel or dropping it in water, researchers and engineers have one common goal: astronaut safety. That’s because safety is a top priority for systems under development in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to launch crews to the International Space Station from America.

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Space Symposium Briefs: Stratolaunch, Falcon 9, CST-100, UAE to Mars & Lunar Bases

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Gwynne Shotwell

Gwynne Shotwell

I’ve been monitoring the Twittersphere for news out of the 31st Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. There have been a few interesting items of note:

  • Stratolaunch President Chuck Beames says the company is considering other air-launch rockets in addition to the one being built by Orbital ATK for use with its massive six engine carrier aircraft. The Orbital ATK rocket is for medium payloads but won’t be ready for several years. Stratolaunch is looking at smaller rockets that could be developed more rapidly and help with more near-term revenue.
  • SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell says the company’s next attempt to recover a Falcon 9 first stage may occur over land rather than on a barge at sea. SpaceX is building landing facilities at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base.
  • Boeing plans to reveal the crew of its first CST-100 flight test this summer. The crew for the planned 2017 test will include one Boeing test pilot and one NASA astronaut.
  • The new United Arab Emirates Space Agency decided to launch a spacecraft to Mars in 2020 because sending an orbiter to the moon is too easy. The space agency, which was formed only last July, has yet to define the mission to the Red Planet or select international partners.
  • Current DLR Chairman Johann-Dietrich Wörner would really like to see the establishment of a base on the far side of the moon to enable radio astronomy. Wörner is set to take over had head of ESA in several months.

Boeing’s Commercial Crew Launchers Begin to Take Shape at ULA

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Boeing’s Chris Ferguson said the first two Atlas V’s to launch the CST-100 will have a parking spot on United Launch Alliance’s factory floor in Decatur soon. (Credit:  ULA)

Boeing’s Chris Ferguson said the first two Atlas V’s to launch the CST-100 will have a parking spot on United Launch Alliance’s factory floor in Decatur soon. (Credit: ULA)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The codes AV-073 and AV-080 may not mean much to many, but they mean a whole lot to former astronaut Chris Ferguson and the team of engineers and technicians who will assemble the first Atlas V rocket to launch a crew to the International Space Station. That test and a precursor flight without crew are part of the final development work Boeing is completing with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to certify a new crew transportation system for low-Earth orbit.

On its factory floor in Decatur, Alabama, United Launch Alliance, or ULA, is beginning to fabricate parts for the two rockets that are to launch Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft in 2017.

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Battle Heats Up for Next Round of ISS Supply Contracts

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Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

It appears as if at least five companies have submitted bids for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract to send cargo ships to the International Space Station.

The Washington Post reports current cargo shippers Orbital ATK and SpaceX have been joined in the bidding by Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Sierra Nevada Corporation. NASA is likely to once again award two contracts for a series of supply missions.

Boeing is working on its CST-100 spacecraft to send human crews to the station. Lockheed Martin recently tested the Orion deep-space capsule it is building for NASA. And Sierra Nevada Corporation has its Dream Chaser shuttle.

Meanwhile, NASA has awarded contracts for four more cargo flights to the space station under an extension of its existing CRS program. SpaceX will fly three additional missions using its Dragon cargo ship; Orbital ATK will get one more flight of the Cygnus freighter.

Boeing CCtCap Milestones

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Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

Boeing CCtCap Milestone Status
Milestones: 23
Milestones Completed: 2
Milestones Remaining: 21

A couple of notes on the table below:

  • In January, Boeing said it was planning an automated test flight of the CST-100 spacecraft to the International Space Station in April 2017 followed by a flight with crew in July of that year. These flights do not seem to be listed as specific milestones in the contract document.
  • The designation of milestones 3 and 4 as Pending does not necessarily indicate they are incomplete at this time. It’s possible they have been completed but not yet announced.
  • Boeing stated in January that the pad abort test would be completed in February 2017. The schedule calls for the test to be completed by December 2016.
NO. DESCRIPTION DATE
STATUS
1 Certification Baseline Review (CBR) November 2014 Complete
2 Ground Segment Critical Design Review (CDR) November 2014
Complete
3 Phase II Safety Review – Part B (Integrated System) December 2014 Pending
4 Delta Integrated Critical Design Review (I-CDR) January 2015 Pending
5 Qualification Test Vehicle (QTV) Production Readiness Review March 2015 Pending
6 Structural Test Article (STA) Test Readiness Review (TRR) April 2015 Pending
7 CST-100 Checkout and Control System (CCCS) Activation/Validation Tests Complete July 2015 Pending
8 Qualification Test Vehicle (QTV) Integrated Readiness Review (IRR)
August 2015 Pending
9 Flight Software Demonstration Nominal Launch, Docking and De-Orbit October 2015 Pending
10 Orbital Flight Test Configuration Performance & Weight Status Report (CPWSR)  December 2015 Pending
11 Mission Control Center Integrated Simulation System Acceptance Review (SAR) January 2016 Pending
12 Qualification Test Vehicle Test Readiness Review (TRR) April 2016 Pending
13 Integrated Parachute System Drop Tests 1 & 2 Complete
June 2016 Pending
14 Service Module Hot Fire Launch Abort Test Complete September 2016 Pending
15 International Space Station Design Certification Review (DCR) Delivery
November 2016 Pending
16 Orbital Flight Test Flight Operations Review (FOR)
August 2016 Pending
17 Spacecraft Servicing Operational Readiness Review (ORR) November 2016 Pending
18 Pad Abort Test Complete December 2016 Pending
19 Orbital Flight Test (OFT) Flight Test Readiness Review (FTRR) January 2017 Pending
20 Crewed Flight Test Design Certification Review March 2017 Pending
21 Crewed Flight Test (CFT) Flight Test Readiness Review (FTRR) April 2017 Pending
22 Operational Readiness Review (ORR) July 2017 Pending
23 Certification Review (CR) Delivery August 2017 Pending

Boeing, ULA Conduct Ground Breaking on Commercial Crew Access Tower

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Officials take part in the formal groundbreaking at Space Launch Complex 41 where the Commercial Crew Access Tower will be built. The 200-foot-tall structure is designed to provide safe access for flight and ground crews to the Boeing CST-100 spacecraft at the pad. (Credit: NASA)

Officials take part in the formal groundbreaking at Space Launch Complex 41 where the Commercial Crew Access Tower will be built. The 200-foot-tall structure is designed to provide safe access for flight and ground crews to the Boeing CST-100 spacecraft at the pad. (Credit: NASA)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Boeing and United Launch Alliance teams held a ceremonial groundbreaking Feb. 20 to begin construction on the first new crew access structure at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in decades. The preparations will enable Space Launch Complex 41 to host astronauts and their support personnel for flight tests and missions to the International Space Station.

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NASA, Boeing, SpaceX Outline Objectives to Station Flights

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NASA's Stephanie Schierholz introduces the panel of Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa, seated, left, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Commercial Crew Program Manager Kathy Lueders, Boeing's John Elbon, SpaceX's Gwynne Shotwell and NASA astronaut Mike Fincke. (Credit: NASA TV)

NASA’s Stephanie Schierholz introduces the panel of Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa, seated, left, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Commercial Crew Program Manager Kathy Lueders, Boeing’s John Elbon, SpaceX’s Gwynne Shotwell and NASA astronaut Mike Fincke. (Credit: NASA TV)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

American spacecraft systems testing followed by increasingly complex flight tests and ultimately astronauts flying orbital flights will pave the way to operational missions during the next few years to the International Space Station. Those were the plans laid out Monday by NASA’s Commercial Crew Program officials and partners as they focus on developing safe, reliable and cost-effective spacecraft and systems that will take astronauts to the station from American launch complexes.

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NASA, Commercial Crew Partners Lay Out Plans for Human Spaceflight

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commercial_crew_cst100_dragon_iss
NASA and its commercial crew partners, Boeing and SpaceX, held a press conference in Houston this afternoon to discuss their plans for launching U.S. astronauts from Cape Canaveral in 2017. Below are my notes on the event.

Participants

  • Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator
  • Kathy Lueders, NASA Commercial Crew Program Manager
  • Mike Fincke, NASA Astronaut
  • Ellen Ochoa, Johnson Space Center Director
  • John Elbon, Vice President and General Manager of Boeing Space Exploration
  • Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President & COO

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GAO Denies Sierra Nevada Protest of NASA Commercial Crew Award

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Dream Chaser landing at Ellington Field. (Cedit: SNC)

Dream Chaser landing at Ellington Field. (Cedit: SNC)

Statement on Sierra Nevada Bid Protest Decision

The following is a statement from Ralph O. White, Managing Associate General Counsel for Procurement Law at GAO, regarding today’s decision resolving a protest filed by Sierra Nevada Corp., B-410485, et al., January 5, 2015.

On January 5, 2015, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied a protest filed by Sierra Nevada Corp., of Louisville, Colorado, challenging the award of contracts to The Boeing Co., Space Exploration, of Houston, Texas, and to Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), of Hawthorne, California, by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for NASA’s Commercial Crew Transportation Capability Contract (CCtCap).  Sierra Nevada argued, among other things, that NASA’s evaluation departed from the solicitation’s stated evaluation and selection criteria by significantly elevating NASA’s stated “goal” of obtaining an integrated crew transportation system no later than the end of 2017, and by failing to put offerors on notice that the agency’s goal would be central to the evaluation and selection decision.

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