Boeing Plans To Have Space Taxi Ready Within Five Years; Roger Krone Comments

Roger Krone
Roger Krone

Boeing hopes to be able to fly astronauts to the International Space Station on private spaceships as soon as 2015, Space.com reports.

Commercial Transportation-100 is under design to taxi astronauts to and from the space station and other low-Earth orbit locations.

The vehicles fall under NASA’s program developing commercially built spacecrafts to replace its retired fleet.

Roger Krone, president of Boeing’s network and space systems unit, said the program provides an opportunity to rethink the nation’s space strategy.

Boeing is among several companies who are building manned space taxis for NASA.

For the past two years, NASA has split $320 million program in program funds between four organizations.

The Chicago-based aerospace firm has received $120 million so far to complete work on the CST-100.

Depending on the level of funding from NASA, the vehicle could be finished by 2015 but is more likely to be ready in 2016, said John Elbon, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s space exploration division.

Congress allotted $406 million for commercial crew development in 2012, which the report notes is $850 million less than NASA’s original request.

NASA requested $830 million for the program in fiscal year 2013, which the House and Senate has only approved $500 million and $525 million of.

Boeing’s capsule has already undergone parachute drop tests in April and will undergo a performance evaluation test in May.

The capsule is designed to seat up to seven astronauts and will be able to be used for up to 10 flights.

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