Boeing Will Partner With NASA to Speed Up USA Return to Space
To say that NASA is excited would be the understatement of the decade. Aerospace giant Boeing has announced that it will build its seven-seat crew capsule to fit the super reliable Atlas V rocket -- in the hope of carrying astronauts to the International Space Station by the end of 2015.
With the recent retirement of the aged Space Shuttle fleet, Boeing is giving NASA's post shuttle era hopes a huge shot in the arm. It means the U.S. may be able to reduce a projected five-year hiatus from manned space flights -- and reduce its reliance on Russia to ferry astronauts and cargo to the space station.
President Barack Obama cancelled the post-shuttle manned spacecraft known as Constellation that would have returned astronauts to the moon -- in favor of using resources on deep space exploration, and leaving commercial craft to carry out service missions to the space station.
Boeing vice president John Elbon says the company's space capsule "is the quickest way to close the gap and get American crews flying again."
A NASA spokesman says "This brings Boeing and United Launch Alliance one step closer to developing (a crew transportation system) that NASA potentially could use one day to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station."
The chairman of the Senate Subcommittee with jurisdiction over NASA, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, says "this is going to bring down the cost and make human spaceflight more affordable.