An editorial in Florida Today supports Boeing's nascent commercial space program, providing more evidence that commercial access to Low Earth Orbit is the future.
The premise of President Obama’s plan to use private companies to ferry astronauts into space is that it will spur competition, create jobs and close the gap between the shuttle’s end and the rockets that will replace it.
It’s a tall order, but a new development brings cautious optimism the approach is starting to take hold.
It came a few days ago when The Boeing Co. announced it’s getting into the game with an Apollo-like spacecraft it says will be ready to fly astronauts from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station by 2015.
The crews would be launched aboard proven Atlas 5 or Delta 4 rockets flown by the United Space Alliance consortium of which Boeing is part.
Another destination would be a commercial space station under development by Bigelow Aerospace in Nevada.
It would be half the size of the International Space Station, with a second outpost bigger than NASA’s orbiting platform and both constructed using interconnected inflatable modules.
Boeing now joins SpaceX in the commercial crew market, and the next few months will bring other steps that could help determine the viability of the concept.