Part 1 explored Boeing and Space Adventures’ new memorandum outlining a partnership to further increase the growing industry of commercial space flight. Part 2 aims to answer some pressing questions: What is Space Adventures’ background? Who is funding the effort? When is the Boeing Crew Space Transport-100 (CST-100) scheduled to be completed? And who are the players involved in this competitive game of commercial space transportation?
Who is Space Adventures? Space Adventures Ltd. has contracted and flown seven spaceflight participants on eight missions to the International Space Station (ISS) to date. The company is currently the only firm to have contracted private and commercial flights to and from the International Space Station. Prospective customers for Boeing and Space Adventures include: private individuals, companies, and non-governmental agencies, as well as US federal agencies other than NASA.
“We are excited about the potential to offer flights on Boeing’s spacecraft,” says Eric Anderson, co-founder and chairman of Space Adventures. “With our customer experience and Boeing’s heritage in human spaceflight, our goal is not only to benefit the individuals who fly to space, but also to help make the resources of space available to the commercial sector by bringing the value from space back to Earth.”
Boeing is developing the CST-100 under NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Space Act Agreement. When work is completed, sometime in 2015, it will be capable of carrying seven passengers and of flying on a variety of launch vehicles.
This geek will be interested to see how the competition shapes up between Boeing, Space Adventures, Virgin Galactic, Scaled Composites, SpaceX, and other private companies vying for NASA and commercial industry’s business in supporting trips to the International Space Station, future commercial LEO stations, and other missions to service our ever growing fleet of federal, international, and commercial satellites. Perhaps, the NASA Space Shuttle retiring is just what was needed to finally kick start the genesis of space travel for the masses.