The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Sunday, June 10, 2012

NASA's Commercial Crew Program: Sierra Nevada Corp.

For those of you who grew up with NASA's space shuttle fleet and consider that the true form of spacecraft, here's a private spacecraft for you. This would be Sierra Nevada's crew transport to the International Space Station, which holds seven astronauts, just like the shuttles did, but not much else.

For me, I grew up with Mercury through Apollo, so the SpaceX Dragon capsule gives me more hope for the future of human spaceflight. The Dragon is imagined to go beyond earth orbit, while the Dream Chaser will only supply the ISS for the rest of its lifetime, which could last only until 2020. However, new equipment used to service satellites never thought possible to service in orbit may extend that lifetime ... if the international partners agree. If not, the ISS, our largest space construct ever gets deorbited into the ocean after 2020. Then the Dream Chaser would be through ... unless it is used to take tourists up into space, perhaps to a Bigelow inflatable space hotel. Who knows.

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