An interview with Chris Ferguson, Boeing Director of commercial space programs, who discusses the company’s entry into commercial space travel.
Following the end of the space shuttle programme in 2011, the US was left without the ability to send astronauts back and fourth to space, forcing the country to rely on old rival Russia for the capability for the last three years.
This changed in September when NASA announced the selection of Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft to transport American crews to and from the International Space Station (ISS), with the goal of ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia in 2017.
“Some of the more vocal members of Congress have been questioning why we’re relying on the Russians to do this, and I think that there is a certain amount of support in bringing the business back to the US from their perspective as well,” admits Ferguson.
The move broke new ground in that it effectively turned over low-Earth orbit transportations to the private sector for the first time, where as previously, the acquisition plan was a government run and managed programme, subcontracting out parts of each individual spacecraft.