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Boeing's race for space has a snazzy new look, as the company this week unveiled a mock-up of its vision for a new commercial spacecraft that looks like it would be right at home in a science fiction movie.
The company offered its first look at the interior for its Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) at a conference in Las Vegas. The spacecraft is being developed as part of a NASA program for a privately-owned and operated manned spacecraft to ferry American crews and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).
The new CST-100 interior is a far cry from the old space shuttle. Instead of all sorts of switches, knobs and readouts, the design is far more minimalist. The design is capped off by soothing blue lighting.
"Boeing's teams have been designing award-winning and innovative interiors for our airplanes since the dawn of commercial aviation," says Rachelle Ornan, regional director of Sales and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Designing the next-generation interior for commercial space is a natural progression. A familiar daytime blue sky scene helps passengers maintain their connection with Earth."
The CST-100 is intended to carry up to seven passengers or a mix of passengers and cargo to the space station. But Boeing says beyond the NASA missions, it's setting its sights on commercial space flight.
"We are moving into a truly commercial space market and we have to consider our potential customers - beyond NASA - and what they need in a future commercial spacecraft interior," says Chris Ferguson, former Space Shuttle Atlantis commander and current Boeing director of Crew and Mission Operations for the Commercial Crew Program.