The performance of the artist shows the Boeing CST-100 Starliner, who heads for a meeting with the International Space Station.
CST-100 Starliner of Boeing is a spacecraft developed for NASA's commercial crew program. The space agency plans to use Starliner as well as Dragon's SpaceX to take astronauts to the International Space Station by 2019 or 2020. Unspent test flights are scheduled for March 2019, with crew test flights set for August 2019
Starliner is similar in shape to the Apollo spacecraft, but its electronics are half a century more advanced. The spacecraft is designed to carry up to seven astronauts, as extra cargo is possible if fewer astronauts fly to a mission. With a width of 4.5 meters at its widest point, the crumbly ship will fly first into space on board the Atlas V rockets.
Money from NASA
The money for the spacecraft's development was largely obtained through the NASA's commercial crew program, which aims to replace the Russian Soyuz flights needed to bring astronauts to the International Space Station.
In one of the phases of the program called Commercial Crew Transport Capability (CCtCap), Boeing received $ 4.2 billion. In September 2014, Competitor SpaceX received $ 2.6 billion for his Dragon Spacecraft.
NASA hopes to resume astronauts from American land, which was not possible as the space shuttle withdrew in 2011. The program was repulsed a few years back, NASA said, because Congress has not spent as much money as it wants agency.
Preparing for the first flight
In 2011, the company placed a 12-inch CST-100 model in an aerodynamic tunnel to determine the aerodynamic characteristics of the spacecraft. The model is placed in several different positions to simulate different phases of landing at interruption.
In 2012, Boeing made CST-100 parachute tests to determine how well the parachutes and airbags are working on the spacecraft. Unlike Apollo's missions, the CST-100 will touch the ground, making airbags particularly important for work. Later in the year, the company and NASA determined what would be the basic plan of the spacecraft that NASA considers an important stage in the third round of CCDev.
In 2014, Boeing presented a full-scale model of the spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center, which for the first time publicly showed its interior. Airspace test of the spacecraft continued successfully in February 2016, and in March 2017 he successfully passed a parachute test in the desert of New Mexico.
Also in 2017, Boeing presented the spacecraft the astronauts would carry on board Starliner. The space suit has several improvements compared to previous suit suits. It is smaller and lighter and includes special gloves designed to allow their use with touchpad screens.
Due to a problem during the engine test interruption in June 2018, Boeing announced in August that test flights would be thrown back by 2019.