Boeing CST-100


Boeing CST-100 crew space transportation system consists of a crew module and service module with capacity for up to seven crew members. The spacecraft will initially launch from Florida atop an Atlas 5 rocket.

Boeing CST-100 Star Liner Picture

The CST-100 is designed to launch atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 41, a little more than 7 miles away from C3PF.

The capsule will be reusable for up to 10 flights.

Atlas V carrying a Boeing CST-100 Starliner Picture

Atlas V carrying a Boeing CST-100 Starliner (ULA -2016)


The aim of the Boeing CST-100 spacecraft is to provide:

1.  Crew transport to the International Space Station (ISS). It may dock to the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module in the future.

2.  Crew Transport to private space stations such as the proposed Bigelow Aerospace Commercial Space Station (Bigelow Aerospace Complex) and other low Earth orbit destinations.


Launch Date: First flight test mission perhaps in 2016.
Command Module: 3.14m
Command Module and Service Module: 5.03m
Mass: Approx 10T
Landing: Use landing bags
Mission Duration: Up to 210 days to ISS.


CST stand for Crew Space Transportation. The number 100 in the name stands for 100 km. The 100 is the height of the Kármán line. The Kármán line lies at an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the Earth’s sea level and is commonly used to define the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.


CST-100 is launched on an Atlas V rocket. In the future it may also fly on other launch vehicles such as Delta IV, Falcon 9, ATK Liberty, Vulcan Rocket and even on Space Launch System.


Flight 1: Boeing First Orbital Test Flight: Launch: 20 December 2019. Landed: 22 December 2019.

Flight 2: First Test Crew: Michael Fincke, Christopher Ferguson, Nicole Aunapu Mann. Launch: 2020.

Flight 3: First Mission Crew – Sunita Williams, Josh Cassada, Thomas Pesquet, Andrei Borisenko. Launch: 2020.

Spacecraft Design

The CST-100 capsule is larger than the Apollo command module and smaller than the Orion capsule.


–  Boeing released artist’s renderings of its Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft during a media briefing with Bigelow Aerospace today at the Farnborough Airshow on July 19, 2010.

– Boeing and partner Bigelow Aerospace successfully completed a parachute drop test of the Crew Space Transportation CST-100 spacecraft on 3 April 2012 at the Delamar Dry Lake Bed near Alamo, Nevada, USA.

Boeing CST-100 Spacecraft Separating From Atlas V Rocket 1st Stage PictureAn Artist’s conception of Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft separating from the first stage of its launch vehicle, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, following liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida (2012).

– Boeing Company tested the composite-based forward heat shield at Bigelow Aerospace’s headquarters outside of Las Vegas on June 5, 7 and 11 2012.

– The third round of funding by NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program was announced on 3 August 2012 and the winners were: Sierra Nevada Corporation with its Dream Chaser spaceplane/Atlas V system, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) with Dragon spacecraft/Falcon 9 system and Boeing Company with CST-100 spacecraft/Atlas V system.

Boeing were one of three companies working with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program during the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) phase to develop integrated spacecraft and launch vehicle systems that could be called on to fly Americans to and from low-Earth orbit in the future.

– In September 2015 Boeing officially named the spacecraft ‘CST-100 Starliner’. The word ‘liner’ has been used in famous airliners from Boeing. The first commercial transport aircraft by Boeing to enter service with a pressurised cabin was called the Model 307 Stratoliner. Also Boeing’s airliner name 787 is called Dreamliner.

– In August 2016 Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner had its first dirt bed landing test at NASA’s Langely Research Center.

Boeing CST-100 Simulate Return From Orbit Picture

NASA & Boeing Simulate CST-100 Starliner Capsule Return From Orbit. (August 2016).

– First Orbital test flight of Starliner was un-crewed. It was launched on an Atlas V N33 on 20 December 2019 from SLC-41, Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was originally an 8 day mission to the International Space Station, but due to a software timing issue it did not dock to the ISS. It landed 2 days later in White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. It was christened ‘Calypso’ by Sunita Williams (NASA astronaut) after landing.

Did you know?

* Other space competitors delivering crew to the ISS include: SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, Dream Chaser space plane, Orion spacecraft and Orbital Science’s Cygnus spacecraft.

Boeing CST-100 Links

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