Friday marked the beginning of development of spaceships for Boeing, thanks to partnership with NASA.
Boeing’s new plant in Florida will be dedicated to building spacecrafts in place of their usual commercial jet or fighter aircraft production.
The company has an ambitious goal of lifting off with their new spaceships by 2017. Parallel in competition with SpaceX, Boeing is aiming to have the first commercial spacecraft, the CST-100, on the market, according to Manufacturing Global.
In support of their venture, NASA has backed Boeing with almost $4.2 billion dollars so that they may continue development of the spaceship through the test phase into the first six flights. Boeing has set an agenda to send astronauts to the International Space Station during these initial flights.
Boeing has expressed that they are aware its financial success will heavily depend upon contracts in addition to the ones from NASA. So far, space travel has been limited to astronauts and an exclusive class of people through non-commercial adventures. But Boeing’s ambitions, with the help of NASA, is to revolutionize transportation allowing every class of people to cross the boundary between Earth, and space, just as easily as they do on a jet plane across continents now.
But Boeing’s idea is not original. There have been many private companies, like SpaceX, who, over decades, are aiming to do the same thing. And some companies have already succeeded in small journeys outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. NASA has had an offer from SpaceX recently claiming that they will do this for them but only for $2.6 billion dollars, much lower than the finances committed to Boeing.
Both Boeing and SpaceX are working towards building space taxis that would be able to deliver seven space members to the International Space Station.
But the drawback thus far is that NASA had its space shuttle program grounded, and since then, astronauts all over the world have been forced to rely upon Russia for space transportation.
With current shuttles becoming obsolete and expensive, the idea is that companies like Boeing will be able to create faster, more effective, efficient space shutting services at a lower price tag.
And the Unites States is not the only country on the verge of a breakthrough. Russia, Japan, the European Union, India and China to name a few are ramping up their space faculties.