Boeing conducted an interface test between NASA’s Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and software for the company commercial spacecraft intended for travel to and from the International Space Station.
The company is required to meet 20 Commercial Crew integrated Capabilities milestones by summer 2014 under the agency’s Commercial Crew Program , NASA said Monday.
During the August exercise, Boeing worked to send and receive data from its avionics software integration facility to Mission Control, with the integration facility and Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft simulator intended as precursors to integrated flight operations training.
“Every day, our connection to the humans living and working in space comes through the historic and hallowed MCC in Houston,” said Ed Mango, NASA’s CCP manager.
“As low-Earth orbit opens to a growing commercial space industry, the ability of new spacecraft to communicate with existing space infrastructure is critical,” Mango added.
Future interconnectivity assessments will have Boeing conduct software avionics testing for the ascent phase of flight and demonstrations, where a human will control the spacecraft simulator.
The pilot will be responsible for running through flight phases such as rendezvous and docking by firing thrusters, navigating state changes and adjusting the spacecraft’s attitude.