Get up-close to the CST-100 Starliner’s pressure vessel, the primary structure that will protect astronauts and cargo when they once again launch from American soil to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The Starliner pressure vessel is the skeleton of the crew module, and it resides inside the spacecraft’s outer aerodynamic design. Constructed from an aluminum alloy material without welds, Starliner is designed for up to 10 trips between Earth and the ISS.
In the future, Starliner will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 on an Atlas V rocket. Its main mission for NASA is to re-establish American launch capability for astronauts to reach the International Space Station (ISS) and make more use of its unique research environment. The spacecraft will transport up to seven people, or a combination of crew and cargo, to and from the ISS and low-Earth orbit, increasing the resident crew on the orbiting laboratory to seven instead of the current crew of six. The amount of research time available to astronauts in orbit will double to 80 hours a week by adding the workweek of a seventh crew member to the capabilities of the space station.
Starliner was designed at the Houston Product Support Center and is being assembled at the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility, formerly the Orbiter Processing Facility-3, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
See Starliner’s pressure vessel on display in the West Gallery of the IMAX® Theater at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
ABOUT THE COMMERCIAL CREW PROGRAM
NASA's Commercial Crew Program has worked with members of the American aerospace industry to facilitate the development of U.S. human spaceflight systems since 2010. The goal is to have safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station (ISS) and low-Earth orbit destinations. By encouraging private companies to provide human transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit, the nation’s space agency can focus on getting the most research and experience out of America’s investment in the ISS. In Sept. 2014, NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX to launch astronauts to the ISS from the United States.