SpaceX, Boeing win $900 million to develop spacecraft for human space flight

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19 Responses to “SpaceX, Boeing win $900 million to develop spacecraft for human space flight”

  1. angusm says:

    A space capsule designed by BoingBoing would be awesome. For one thing, the interior would be all polished wood and brass, with wheels and levers and gears (except for the parts that were made out of artfully-folded paper). For another, the design would be available free online, so anyone with a 3D printer and basic soldering skills could build their own. The exterior would be laser-etched with images by Amy Crehore, and it would be powered by kittens and unicorn poop.

    I’m not sure I’d want to fly in it, though.

  2. ComradeQuestions says:

    Oh man, that $200m to Sierra Nevada is gonna buy a lot of beer.

    (Also, that adds up to more like $1.1bn.)

  3. mikeconwell says:

    Ugh – Sad to see Boeing considered necessary and included in this with a sizable chunk of the money.

  4. IamInnocent says:

    $900K for Boingboing ! Imagine the iPhone and iPad budget !

  5. tomrigid says:

    Boeing hits for Jesus!

  6. Mike Norman says:

    Almost as great as the news that SpaceX got funded is that Alliant TechSystems (ATK) was passed over. Their proposed system–clad in red, white, and blue in company imagery–used a modified solid rocket death-pencil^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hbooster for the first stage.

    Silly ATK, solid rockets are for fireworks, not launch systems!

    • TheMadLibrarian says:

      Aren’t solid rocket boosters the same thing that Space Ship One used for its initial stages after White Knight got it to sufficient altitude?

      • Mike Norman says:

         Not quite. SS1 used a hybrid motor, which has a solid fuel grain but liquid oxidizer. You spray oxygen onto the grain to keep it lit. It’s completely throttleable and can can be shut down if a problem is detected.

  7. Keith Tyler says:

    > Boeing (not to be confused with “Boing Boing,”

    And then there’s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boeingboeing.jpg

  8. Keith Tyler says:

    > Chicago-based aerospace giant Boeing 

    Two million Seattleites just let out a collective rueful sigh.

    • GlenBlank says:

      Boeing’s space craft, the CST-100, will be built in a converted shuttle Orbiter Processing Facility, OPF-3, in Florida; the rocket that launches it will be manufactured in Decatur, Alabama, with upper stages built in San Diego, California and payload fairings built in Harlingen, Texas, by United Launch Alliance (ULA), whose  headquarters are  in Denver, Colorado.

      ULA is a joint venture between Lockheed-Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, and Boeing, headquartered in… yes, Chicago.

      So I can see why Seattleites would be sighing. :-)

  9. Woody Smith says:

    “…capable of carrying astronauts,” WHERE?  If this is just another version of the Vomit Comit, training them to cope with zero-G, who needs it?  Can it reach the ISS?  The Hubble?  High Orbit?  Can it reach Luna?  Specifics, please.

    • Culturedropout says:

      Well, considering that SpaceX’s contribution is probably going to be a human-rated version of the Dragon that recently launched, docked with the ISS, delivered cargo, and returned safely to Earth, I would imagine that it will almost certainly reach the ISS (as NASA no longer operates the shuttles, and is probably tired of paying Russia for rides).  Beyond that, I imagine the range is limited more by the type of boosters and the amount of fuel loaded than anything else.  I don’t think a mission to the moon would be the least bit unlikely either.

  10. pjcamp says:

    Not enough to design a human capable space toilet, let alone an entire spaceship.

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