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Transportation Space

Boeing To Take Space Tourists On Its CST-100 Spacecraft To the ISS 47

MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "According to a Thursday story in Investment Business Daily, Boeing, whose CST-100 spacecraft was one of the two winners of NASA's commercial crew competition, will reserve one seat per flight for a paying tourist. For a price comparable to what space tourists now pay for trips on the Russian Soyuz, anyone will be able to take a jaunt to the International Space Station. The move places Boeing in direct competition with the Russians, who are working through a company called Space Adventures for their tourist space jaunts."
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Boeing To Take Space Tourists On Its CST-100 Spacecraft To the ISS

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  • Don't Americans pay for NASA? Maybe the seats should be given out in a lottery rather than to oligarchs.
    • Yeah I was thinking the same.

      You used oligarchs though; I would not have. I'm not against making money, or even the rich.

      But I do want my cut, our cut. Which would be about the whole ticket price, wouldn't it, since we just shelled out 4ish billion for it?

      • Re:Public access (Score:5, Informative)

        by confused one ( 671304 ) on Saturday September 20, 2014 @07:52AM (#47953165)

        You haven't paid for anything yet... The 4 billion is for development and infrastructure. You're paying for the pad modification/construction, manufacturing of first articles, flight certification and testing. Normally, if this were a commercial airliner, Boeing would pay for this themselves. They would recoup the cost over the couple hundred planes they constructed and sold. Since there is no business case with and end result allowing them to recoup the cost, they're having the primary customer (NASA) pay the Non Recoverable Engineering costs (NRE). This is standard practice in industry (any and all industry).

        Once certified, NASA, as a customer, will be buying seats on the CST-100, as a service. They're not buying the rocket for their exclusive use; think of it as buying seats on a commercial airliner. NASA will be the primary customer initially; but, not the only customer. Same thing happened with the commercial airliner industry -- in the very early days, one of the major customers was the government and a buyer of cargo space was the U.S. Mail service.

        ISS is not going to be the only destination in the future. Bigelow Aerospace plans to launch a habitation module or two in the next few years. They already have a contract with Boeing to use CST-100 as a transport. It's just the beginning...

        • Two issues with this: TFA (one of them) states that the destination for these tourists will be the ISS -- the US taxpayers have already paid north of $70 billion for that plus the ongoing logistics -- maybe Boeing has worked out a compensation for that, but I doubt it. And 2) It isn't a given that Boeing can just use the result of government paid NRE for their own commercial uses; certainly when there is NRE on a product developed by one commercial company for another there can be severe restrictions on t

        • Bigelow Aerospace plans to launch a habitation module or two in the next few years.

          Umm.. They've had two up there since 2006-2007...Genesis I was launched on July 12, 2006, by a converted Russian Dniepr ICBM, and the Genesis II was launched on June 28, 2007, again by the Russians.. According to the Bigelow webpage they're still up there, waiting for visitors... http://bigelowaerospace.com/ [bigelowaerospace.com]

          • by jayrtfm ( 148260 )

            nope, they were proof of concept, incapable of letting anyone enter.

            • by Teancum ( 67324 )

              None the less, they are real spacecraft that have life support systems which have been operating as if they could be occupied. One of them had some biological specimens (I think some insects) and it was definitely pressurized in the interior volume, not to mention that Bigelow has gained the experience of operating these modules over a long period of time.

              Bigelow Aerospace is currently slated to send up a vehicle next year [spacex.com] on a Falcon 9, and supposedly a Falcon Heavy has also been sold but not on the manif

        • And what about the space station? Boeing didn't pay for that, and there are real costs associated with visiting (scrubber modules for the life support, if nothing else).
    • Yes they pay about a half cent out of each tax dollar. This isn't about NASA it's about Boeing.
    • Am I missing something? Won't NASA pay (Boeing, or whomever) for uplifts aboard the CST-100? Or is NASA buying CST-100's, like the next shuttle.
      • by rossdee ( 243626 )

        While Boeing would like NASA to buy the craft, I don't think Congress would give them the budget to do that. Instead they will probably be leased or hired.

      • by Teancum ( 67324 )

        NASA is only paying for the flight slots. Both Boeing and SpaceX plan on reusing their respective spacecraft, although for this particular CCtCAP contract I'm pretty sure they are supposed to be all brand-new vehicles.

        The CST-100 is more like the Space Shuttle so far as it needs some refurbishment that takes a little bit of time, but it is still supposed to be just a couple of months turn around time from a landing to a new launch. SpaceX is aiming for "commercial aircraft" style of reuse where they want

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This reminds me of a news article I saw recently entitled Two Cosmonauts Find Icicle Hanging from an Air Pipe [soylentnews.org]. After reading that article, I now know why rich folk seeking adventure would want to go to space. It isn't as extreme of an adventure as you may think; it's far more extreme. It's the kind of vacation that you literally can't find here on Earth. You'll see things you never expected to see. You'll feel feelings you've never felt before. You'll be one among a small handful of people who have done thi

      • Screw going to the ISS.. Boeing (and SpaceX for that matter) need to get together with Bigelow Aerospace, one of our local companies here in Las Vegas, and set up a couple of Bigelow's Expandable spacecraft, two of which have been in orbit since 2006/2007 http://bigelowaerospace.com./ [bigelowaerospace.com.] Then these "extreme adventure" trips would be totally of a commercial nature.. No government involvement. From the looks of these structures, they'd make a fantastic "space-hotel", and from what I see of the Genesis II, its go

    • Although NASA is helping fund the development of the vehicle, to meet their safety specifications, NASA is buying seats on a CST-100, as a service, not buying CST-100s. Think of it as NASA buying seats on a commercial airliner. The vehicle has 7 seats. The way I read the story, NASA is requiring 1 seat for a NASA pilot on the test flight and 4+ seats per launch to ISS. That leaves empty seats...
    • These aren't NASA flights - they're seats on bus (or airplane if you prefer) routes which NASA has bought from Boeing (or SpaceX). Thus Boeing (or SpaceX) is free (in theory) to do whatever the hell they want with any spare capacity.

  • it hasn't been cleaned in years.
  • The ISS has now jumped the shark. Yes there have been a few space tourists but now it would seem that instead of doing real science aboard the ISS its now about tourism. I guess that means logically any future manned missions should allow for a paying guest but I don't think astronauts who've trained for years want turndown service added to their mission statement.

    • have at least enough tech savvy to be brought in and allowed to follow a defined plan, but I'd heard from at least one NASA staffer that several of them were told to do only certain things and beyond that don't touch a %$@!*^ that thing you're not asked to.
      • so you fly up there and sit on your hands looking out a window. What a waste of resources.

        • by Teancum ( 67324 )

          Everybody who has paid for their own trip to the ISS so far has gone through cosmonaut training at Star City (at least a six month training effort where they learn all of the sub-systems of the Soyuz spacecraft) and have become fully qualified astronauts in their own right. They usually have been involved with experiments done on the ISS as well, and usually bring up something to do. They are also responsible for performing "chores" while at the station.

          About the only thing these "private astronauts" don'

  • "We are the People" pay for oligarchs' space voyages.

  • Years ago he gave a talk in which he suggested one of the shuttles be fitted with a pressurized bay, double decker. The top layer of seats were (over)paid for by well-heeled people, with top-facing portholes, the lower deck with standard jetliner style windows and available for free on a lottery.
  • Bye, difficult science.

Neutrinos are into physicists.

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