For those who are still getting over the final space shuttle missions, please know that there is more than one way to get people into space.
What you are seeing here is Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation vehicle, the CST-100. It was unveiled a year ago, and Boeing plans to test them in 2015 atop an Atlas V rocket.
There will actually three tests. The first will be a simple test, followed by a test that set to deliberately fail in order to test out the capsule abort system. The third mission will be a manned mission, to the International Space Station.
As I mentioned in the title, Lockheed Martin is working on a space capsule of their own. In fact, both Boeing and Lockheed Martin are working with an organization called the United Space Alliance, a contract that NASA has launched since they are now working with a Commercial Crew Development program.
I wonder if we will ever discover a way to shoot these capsules from a cannon, slingshot, or some other way that doesn’t involve giant tubes of fuel. If you want to be involved in the Capsule’s first man mission, I heard that Boeing is looking for people to occupy these capsules.