WASHINGTON, D.C. — Picture this: A team of space travelers blasts off from Earth in a fully automated shuttle that carries them to an outpost orbiting around the moon, where they will embark on a voyage to Mars. Though it sounds like science fiction, this fantastic journey may be closer than you think: An automated spacecraft designed to transport people into low Earth orbit could be ready for its maiden (uncrewed) voyage as early as this summer. The new spacecraft, called the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner, is being developed in partnership with NASA by a private company generally associated with commercial airplanes: Boeing. The Starliner is capable of carrying up to seven passengers as far as the International Space Station (ISS) in low Earth orbit. But that milestone will be just the first step toward eventually flying travelers to the moon and then Mars, experts here at the Future Con panel "Intergalactic to Planetary: Science Fiction to … [Read more...] about Could Boeing’s ‘Starliner’ Spacecraft Be a Next Step for Reaching the Moon and Beyond?
HOUSTON — The preparations for the first flight of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft took a minor, but symbolic step forward this week with the reveal of its first mission patch. The NASA team contracted by Boeing to run Starliner's mission control at Johnson Space Center in Houston debuted their emblem on Tuesday (April 3). "Boeing Mission Operations (MO) continues to prepare to fly the first Starliner test flight later this year for The Boeing Company," wrote NASA flight director Ed Van Cise, a member of the Boeing MO team, on Twitter. "As part of our prep, we have created our MO patch for that Orbital Flight Test (OFT) mission." [Boeing Unveils New Spacesuits for Starliner Astronaut Taxi (Photos)] The patch features the Starliner capsule, which Boeing is building to fly astronauts to the International Space Station under a commercial agreement with NASA. The Starliner is depicted in orbit over Earth with four points on the planet highlighted by four small stars. The … [Read more...] about Boeing Ops Team Reveals Mission Patch for Starliner Orbital Test Flight
As NASA prepares to send astronauts to space in private space taxis, Boeing and SpaceX are running multiple parachute tests for the crucial re-entry phase. The tests are another milestone in the journey to start sending astronauts to space from American soil again; since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011, NASA's astronauts have used Russian Soyuz spacecraft launching from Kazakhstan to reach the International Space Station. NASA's Commercial Crew Program will replace most of those Soyuz flights with U.S. company launches from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Test flights may happen as soon as late 2018, but the commercial program's launch date has been delayed by several years due to funding and technical considerations. [NASA Tests SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule's Life-Support Systems] SpaceX, which received $2.6 billion from NASA in 2014 for the current phase of the Commercial Crew Program, completed its 14th overall parachute test for its crewed … [Read more...] about SpaceX and Boeing Test Parachutes for Future Astronaut Space Taxis
The notorious WannaCry ransomware has returned to strike a Boeing factory in South Carolina.WannaCry, which was thought to have been put under control by Microsoft, seems to have attacked Boeing's production plant in Charlseston, on Wednesday.The attack itself doesn't seem to have done much damage, but has triggered a red alarm in the plant, nonetheless.According to Seattle Times, Boeing Commercial Airplane's chief engineer Mike VanderWel has called for “All hands on deck”.Boeing’s head of communications, Linda Mills, says the issue was quickly fixed.“We’ve done a final assessment,” she said. “The vulnerability was limited to a few machines. We deployed software patches. There was no interruption to the 777 jet program, or any of our programs.”VanderWel has expressed his concern that the ransomware might make it into airplane software.WannaCry is a type of ransomware which is being said to have been built in North Korea. It was first … [Read more...] about WannaCry returns to hit Boeing plant
Last Friday, the City of Atlanta was struck by a ransomware attack that took much of the city's internal and external services offline. As of today, many of those services have been restored, but two public portals remain offline. On Saturday, the automated dispatch network for Baltimore's 911 system was also taken offline by an apparent ransomware attack. And yesterday, Boeing's Charleston facility—which manufactures components for Boeing's 777 and other commercial jets, and for the Air Force's KC-46 tanker—was struck by what was initially reported to be WannaCry malware. While it is not clear at this point if these attacks are related in any way, the vulnerability of both businesses and government agencies—particularly local governments—to these sorts of attacks has been continuously demonstrated over the past few years. Even as organizations have moved to deal with the vulnerabilities that were exploited in the first waves of ransomware and … [Read more...] about Baltimore’s 911 system, Boeing join Atlanta in week of crypto-malware outbreaks