First look: Boeing's commercial capsule spacecraft

Boeing has announced its plans to produce a low-cost, high-occupancy passenger capsule called the Crew Space Transportation-100 (or CST-100) vehicle. It'll ride at the nose of rockets just like the capsule that came before it, and it could be ready by 2014.

In terms of size, the CST-100 lands somewhere between the old Apollo capsules and the proposed, larger Orion that NASA has since scrapped. Where Orion could carry four, Boeing's CST-100 carries seven. (At least, that's the plan: Orion was supposed to carry six during its early stages.)

It's worth noting that Boeing is working on the capsule under an $18 million award from NASA, and is also the space agency's primary American contractor for the International Space Station.

Boeing is looking further than just the ISS, though, as its CST-100 will be compatible with Bigelow's inflatable space stations, set to launch in a few years.

Via PhysOrg

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