back to article NASA hands Boeing first commercial crew contract for SPAAAACE

NASA is progressing towards what it describes as "returning America’s ability to launch crew missions to the International Space Station from the United States in 2017" by handing aerospace and defense contractor Boeing the first of its commercial crew rotation missions. The Commercial Crew Programme has ordered its first crew …

Meh

Boeing certainly has its feet under the door...

So, the more expensive option, which will probably fly significantly less often, and costs much more than the alternative, gets signed up first.

I suppose having all those lobbyists was good for something...

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Re: Boeing certainly has its feet under the door...

Correct me if Im wrong but has the CST flown in any real capacity? Contrast that with SpaceX who have been flying regular flights of the cargo version, and have been testing the escape system on the real thing.

Thats without mentioning the fact that Boeing are being paid almost twice as much....

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Joke

Did NASA play that level of buzzword Bingo back during the Apollo era? Or were they simply to busy building the Sets? lol <- JOKE ALERT!!

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Playing the Game in Sub-Prime Mode

Hmmmm .... I share this with no further comment ... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-27/crony-capitalism-work-boeing-threatens-leave-us-if-ex-im-subsidy-yanked

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CST-100's schedule looks interesting

According to Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CST-100

Pad abort test in Feb 2017, uncrewed flight to ISS in April, crewed flight in July. Presumably an in-flight abort test will happen in March.

That sounds like a remarkably short time to go from pad abort to crewed flight. It doesn't give much time for any lessons to be learnt from any minor anomalies between the launches.

My guess is that they've 'got' to be ready by June 2017 to get the NASA gig, but they don't think they'll be ready for pad abort before Feb. And they can pretend this is viable by assuming all those tests will go absolutely like clockwork.

So I guess SpaceX will be launching first, after 'unexpected' delays in Boeing's plans.

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There is a way to meet the deadlines

Stop all development, pocket half the money, wait a bit, then buy some SpaceX Dragons.

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Re: There is a way to meet the deadlines

Boeing do a LOT of paper work/design analysis up front, SpaceX do a lot of iterative development. Different processes, so different schedules.

Of course SpaceX will still be first by miles and much cheaper because they are not Boeing.

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Re: There is a way to meet the deadlines

I would be surprised if SpaceX don't do lots of up-front design analysis as well. If they hadn't the engines & Falcon systems wouldn't have worked as well as they did in the prototype phase. If Boeing are relying on getting it right first time based on simulation then my guess is they'll be in for an unpleasant surprise come the day.

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Joke

Re: CST-100's schedule looks interesting

They've got to move fast. Their software counters are only good for 248 days.

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Re: There is a way to meet the deadlines

All rocket stuff is designed to work right first time, and it's generally successful. For example the Delta4 rocket has had only one partial failure ever.

Of course SpaceX do a lot of up front stuff, just not as much as ULA or Boeing. They are faster and more agile. Which I believe is a faster way to get stuff working than huge amounts of paperwork and simulations.

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Re: CST-100's schedule looks interesting

Presumably an in-flight abort test will happen in March

Boeing don't feel the need to do a live in-flight abort test, their simulations are considered adequate.

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Re: There is a way to meet the deadlines

"I would be surprised if SpaceX don't do lots of up-front design analysis as well."

So would I. The "iterative tests" that SpaceX have been doing are in areas it's extremely hard to simulate as there's not much existing data to work from.

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Unhappy

Re: There is a way to meet the deadlines

"If Boeing are relying on getting it right first time based on simulation then my guess is they'll be in for an unpleasant surprise come the day."

Probably.

I've no doubt both companies run lots of simulation. The impression is Boeing does a)Lots of paperwork up front and b)More simulation IE to 90%+ rather than say 50-70%.

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LDS
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The only reason the Shuttle was retired was to award Boein alone new contracts.

Boeing was already found guilty of bribing the Pentagon... it needed new lucrative contracts and had to cripple the US space program to achive them. Just, Boeing is not the company you think of when you think about very advanced planes or the like - you think about North American or Lockheed.... besides big airliners or (legacy) bombers Boeing was never successful at designing more advanced types.

It is true NA was later acquired by Boeing, but I guess its legacy was lost in Boeing corporate culture.

SpaceX is much more innovative than Boeing. Guess Boeing will take the dust off old NA blueprints of the Apollo module, and try to build a new one with LCD screens instead of old CRTs...

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Re: The only reason the Shuttle was retired was to award Boein alone new contracts.

...and try to build a new one with LCD screens instead of old CRTs...

IIRC Apollo instruments were only electro-mechanical and Nixies. There must probably have been tubes in the cameras though.

You're right about Boeing though.

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LDS
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Re: The only reason the Shuttle was retired was to award Boein alone new contracts.

There was a small display for the computer, but probably not a CRT. Also the LEM had a computer display, but again it could be not a CRT.

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Re: The only reason the Shuttle was retired was to award Boein alone new contracts.

While you're naming names... they also sucked up McDonnell-Douglas who did a lot of innovative work for both space and aviation. I suspect their stuff is tucked away in some filing cabinets next the NA files.

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Re: The only reason the Shuttle was retired was to award Boein alone new contracts.

McDonnell-Douglas destroyed it self, cargo doors and such.

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Re: The only reason the Shuttle was retired was to award Boein alone new contracts.

"There was a small display for the computer, but probably not a CRT. Also the LEM had a computer display, but again it could be not a CRT."

The Apollo Guidance Computer used what is now a little known technology called "electro-chromic" display. LCD's were still in research and I think LED's were quite power heavy.

No CRT displays but I think they had some kind of tube as the sensor in the optical telescope collecting nav data for the computer.

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Space weird thing

I know this is tenuous at best and realistically completely off topic, but since Bowie was indirectly mentioned in the article I thought I'd take the chance to post this version of one of his songs, but done with the same limitations as XKCD's Up-goer five:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygrdAvmr-MA

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Mushroom

Fall back option...

Anything they do to get off Russian dependency will be good - as launch failures mount one after the other from Baikonur.

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