The Boeing Company has been making things that go into space for quite some time now. Earlier in the week, they announced plans to possibly start sending normal Joe-Schmos into space…for a price.
Boeing and Space Adventures have created a memorandum of agreement regarding the marketing the transportation of passengers on commercial flight board the Boeing Crew Space Transportation-100 (or CST-100) to low Earth orbit.
Boeing plans to use the CST-100 to transport crews to the International Space Station, but will also provide room for private individuals, companies and pretty much anyone who isn’t NASA to hitch a ride.
Boeing and Space Adventures have not yet set a price per seat for spaceflight participants, but will do so when full-scale development is under way. Boeing continues to advance its design for the CST-100 spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Space Act Agreement. The spacecraft, which can carry seven people, will be able to fly on multiple launch vehicles and is expected to be operational by 2015.
“We are excited about the potential to offer flights on Boeing’s spacecraft,” said 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.”
At this point there is no cost set up for these flights, but don’t expect them to be cheap.
In my opinion this is awesome. Virgin Galactic is already well on their way to start space tourism and getting a big company like Boeing involved will just up the stakes and create competition.