According to a recent company press release, Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) has completed software safety tests and a hardware design review, bringing the program one step closer to the launch of the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft that is aiming to bring Americans back into space.
The CCP successfully tested and approved the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket’s emergency detection system, which communicates through software with the capsule and initiates critical emergency procedures if needed. Boeing also completed a Critical Design Review of the system’s Launch Vehicle Adapter (LVA), which connects CST-100 to the Atlas V Rocket. The test results, which included wind tunnel tests, verified flight stability.
John Mulholland, vice president and program manager, Boeing Commercial Programs, said in the release, "Safety is a key element of the CST-100, from the drawing board to design implementation and beyond. These tests help to validate that the launch vehicle adapter and emergency detection system are fully functioning and able to ensure a safe launch for our future passengers."
The CST-100 can accommodate up to seven passengers or a mix of crew and cargo and will transport astronauts to the International Space Station and other low-Earth-orbit destinations. Next in line for the program according to the release is a software review this spring and then a more comprehensive Integrated CDR this summer. Boeing is on track to meet all 20 of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) milestones in 2014.
Hardware and software testing will likely continue to be a critical component of the development of the CST-100 in preparation for its first test flight in late 2016.