Taxi to the Space Station
Should the chief builder of the International Space Station be the company that offers taxi service there? Boeing thinks so.
- By Craig Mellow
- Air & Space magazine, September 2013
(Page 5 of 5)
With the imagineering phase of design finished and a test flight not likely until 2015, this is a particularly hard time to maintain enthusiasm in the chancy multi-year project. But space engineers, like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s rich, are different from the rest of us. They understand that humankind’s ascent to the stars is a long march, and they are content to be humble soldiers in that effort. At least that is what they like to say. Everyone at CST HQ seems to agree that the chance to contribute to a brand-new flight system, one that will carry real astronauts no less, is akin to a divine gift. “In a way, it’s a shame that NASA had to abandon Constellation and its own program,” Mulholland says. “But that’s made it such an exciting time for people to get into aerospace.”
Though Alicia Evans has not launched for Mars yet, late last year she did quit her native southern California for Houston. She spent most of her previous 11 years with Boeing at El Segundo, a stone’s throw from the beach (and not far from SpaceX’s headquarters, in Hawthorne). There may be yet another move next July, when the CST-100 program relocates to Cape Canaveral, Florida. But “the opportunity to work on a crewed vehicle was too good to pass up,” she explains. “El Segundo does not have the passion we have here.”
That is just what Boeing wants to hear.
Craig Mellow is a freelance journalist in Staten Island, New York.