NASA partner Boeing has announced that it has completed its launch vehicle adapter preliminary design review. The launch vehicle adapter is the component of Boeing's rocket design that would attach a crew capsule to the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The completion of the preliminary design review is one of six performance milestones Boeing has to complete for this particular device.
The preliminary design review is the first step for Boeing in getting its device approved to participate in NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability initiative. Boeing says that it is on track to complete all 19 of its required milestones during NASA's initiative. In addition to Boeing, there are two other companies working with NASA on this particular initiative.
NASA's goal with this initiative is to lead the way for the availability of human spaceflight services from NASA. NASA lost the ability to put astronauts into orbit when the space shuttle fleet was retired. The Boeing component that has completed the preliminary design review is the Launch Vehicle Adapter. This is a critical component that allows Boeing's space capsule designed to carry astronauts to be attached to the tip of an existing rocket.
The adapter specifically attaches Boeing's Crew Space Transportation-100, also known as CST-100, spacecraft to the Atlas V rocket. The adapter attaches the capsule above the rocket's second stage. Boeing has also completed two other milestones for this program recently including the Engineering Release 2.0 software release and the Landing and Recovery Ground Systems and Ground Communications design review.