Boeing recently revealed the interior design for its next-generation CST-100 manned space capsule, and it looks like something straight out of Star Trek.
Designed to take a crew of seven or cargo to destinations like the International Space Station, Boeing’s space capsule began life as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability initiative.
However, the aerospace giant is poised to take the CST-100 beyond the confines of governmental applications.
“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,” said Chris Ferguson, Boeing’s director of Crew and Mission Operations for the Commercial Crew Program.
The futuristic space capsule design, set to launch in 2017, is a natural progression for Boeing’s aircraft engineers.
Developed in partnership with Bigelow Aerospace, the commercial crew capsule’s sleek, modern design is a stark departure from the cluttered switchgear-laden interiors of past spacecraft.
In an attempt to reduce clutter, engineers have abandoned traditional spacecraft switchgear in favor of tablet-based control interfaces. According to the Daily Mail, the capsule’s interior will also feature lightweight plastic seats in place of traditional metallic units.
LED lights and large windows will also give the capsule an open feel.
Since NASA’s decision to retire the space shuttle fleet in 2011, the U.S. and other nations have had to rely upon Russian Soyuz rockets to transport cargo and crew to the International Space Station. Boeing’s production CST-100 will compete with Elon Musk’s Space X and Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser to provide NASA with an alternative to the Soyuz.
Take a closer look at Boeing’s CST-100: