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Boeing is part of the ULA partnership that makes the Atlas V rocket chosen

With the last shuttle flight over, the work to build the replacement for getting astronauts into space is well underway at NASA. The key player for the shuttle replacement is Boeing. Boeing has been working on the CST-100 crew capsule and has announced that it has chosen the rocket to launch the capsule.

Boeing has chosen the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket to launch its Crew Space Transportation CST-100 spacecraft. The choice isn’t exactly surprising given that Boeing is a member company with the ULA as is Lockheed Martin. ULA will provide the launch services for orbital flight assuming NASA chooses Boeing for a development contract with sufficient funds.

"This selection marks a major step forward in Boeing's efforts to provide NASA with a proven launch capability as part of our complete commercial crew transportation service,” said John Elbon, vice president and program manager of Commercial Crew Programs and the source selection official for Boeing.

Boeing will not start the detailed design work to integrate the CST-100 with the Atlas V rocket. The work will include refining the launch abort operations of the rocket to meet the requirements for crew safety that NASA uses. The crewed launch and other testing are expected to take place in 2015.

"We are pleased Boeing selected the Atlas V rocket and believe it is the right vehicle to help usher in the new commercial era in human spaceflight,” said George Sowers, ULA vice president of Business Development. “The Atlas V is a cost-effective, reliable vehicle and ULA stands ready to support Boeing's commercial human spaceflight program."

Being will start with wind tunnel testing of the Atlas V and the CST-100 capsule later in 2011. The results of the testing will be used to finish a preliminary design review of the integrated capsule and launch vehicle in 2012.

Boeing unveiled the CST-100 in July of last year. The capsule can transport up to seven crew to the ISS.

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Grammar Police
By Lord 666 on 8/5/2011 1:41:25 PM , Rating: 4
What is this?!

"Boeing is part of the ULA partnership that makes the Atlas V rocket chosen"

Seriously? "...that makes the Atlas V rocket chosen."

RE: Grammar Police
By fjeske on 8/5/2011 3:53:01 PM , Rating: 3
"Boeing will not start the detailed design work ..."

probably should be

"Boeing will now start the detailed design work ..."

RE: Grammar Police
By Trisped on 8/8/2011 12:39:07 AM , Rating: 2
Being will start with wind tunnel testing

Should probably be Boeing. :)

RE: Grammar Police
By TSS on 8/6/2011 1:09:00 PM , Rating: 3
The grammar's fine if everybody refers to the rocket as "the chosen one" :P

By Don Reba on 8/6/2011 8:05:40 AM , Rating: 2
Flying on Russian rocket engines is more independent than flying on Russian rockets. That's for sure.

RE: RD-180
By Jeffk464 on 8/6/2011 11:33:09 AM , Rating: 2
Well what are you going to do, they came up with the best design.

RE: RD-180
By gevorg on 8/7/2011 12:47:13 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing wrong with using Russian engines since its just a commodity you can buy, rather being dependent on a whole rocket, launch facility, etc.

RE: RD-180
By Bubbacub on 8/8/2011 4:25:27 AM , Rating: 2
whilst the design was originally russian - the current rocket engines are made by an american company - aerojet. they hold the designs and rights to do whatever they want to with the rocket engine.

given how the baseline nk33 (from which all these engines are derived) is the far and away the best rp1/lox rocket engine ever made (in terms of thrust to weight and cost to produce specifically) it makes sense to modify and use it for our own benefit.

this system is as russian as the saturn 1b first stage was german (i.e. the saturn 1b was made up of a load of redstone engines which were basically tarted up v2 rocket engines).

so now..
By Bubbacub on 8/6/2011 7:58:29 PM , Rating: 5
we are looking at:

1: falcon 9 + dragon

2: man rated atlas V + CST

3: something from orbital sciences that hopefully won't explode

4: man rated atlas V + dreamchaser


5: a ridiculously expensive man rated "space launch system" and another capsule (MCPV)

in times of budgetary constraint why are 5 different rocket systems being simultaneously developed?

i can understand that having a bit of competition is a safe thing to do but the current state of affairs is a joke. this stinks of pork barrel politics.

FFS the actual technical capabilities of future rockets are being mandated by politicians (e.g. the SLS must lift 130 tons to LEO - making it difficult to not use SRBs from ATK - thereby saving jobs in Utah).

IMO what needs to be done:

1: cancel the boeing capsule. dont bother manrating atlas. cancel the SLS - its hugely expensive and there isnt the money to use it frequently enough to make it cheaper than using larger numbers of existing rockets.

2: get spacex and orbital sciences to supply the iss and provide a safe way getting bodies to low earth orbit.

3: use atlas and delta iv rockets to build a fuel depot at the ISS

4: use a falcon 9 heavy or delta iv to launch an unfueled deep space vehicle (in one or two launches if needs be), use a cheap(ish) dragon capsule to get bodies onto the deep space vehicle, fuel deep space vehicle in LEO at the ISS and then go explore deep space/mars/moon/whatever

This Could Be...
By mmatis on 8/5/2011 1:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
interesting. The basic Atlas V, like the basic Delta IV, does not have enough lift capability to safely put this size crew in orbit. Strap-ons are available to augment payload capability, but they add SIGNIFICANT risk and would seem to be inadequate for 7 crew to ISS. Atlas V Heavy straps 3 cores together (as does Delta IV Heavy) but has not flown yet. Looks like things might get interesting.

RE: This Could Be...
By Bubbacub on 8/7/2011 4:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
i think they are planning on using the 402 variant of the rocket. i.e. 4m fairing and no SRBs.

tbh a van sized airtight cone of metal with a special coating on the bottom shouldn't really weigh more than 3-4 tonnes.

I was thinking Saturn.
By Mr Perfect on 8/6/2011 7:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
For some reason I thought they meant a Saturn V rocket. Then I realized my mistake and lost interest. Carry on.

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