Update on Boeing’s CST-100

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This article provides an update on the status of the construction of Boeing’s CST-100 manned capsule.

It also describes NASA’s lobbying effort with Congress to get the full budget it had proposed for the construction of the commercial crew spacecraft.

I note instead the apparent bureaucratic focus of all the work Boeing seems to be doing.

Following the CBR [Certification Baseline Review], Boeing successfully completed the Ground Segment CDR (Critical Design Review) on 4 December 2014 before moving onto the Phase 2 Safety Review (Part B) in early January 2015. By mid-March, Boeing completed the Phase 2 Safety Review (Safety Technical Review Board Readiness) and moved on to the Delta Integrated CDR, which took place on 27 March 2015.

Since then, Boeing has spent the summer months conducting the Phase 2 Safety review (STRB 80%) as well as producing the CDR for the launch elements of the program and the Qualification Test Article Production Readiness Review.

Moreover, in late July, teams at the Kennedy Space Center began building the Structural Test Article (STA) for the CST-100 capsule inside former Orbiter Processing Facility bay 3 (OPF-3).

Lots of reviews, but notice in the last paragraph they have only begun building the first capsule. As much as these reviews might help them make sure they are doing things right, they seem to create a situation where the company is able to slow-walk construction to help NASA with its congressional lobbying effort, while simultaneously making it sound like they are accomplishing a lot.

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