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Space exploration - A reusable crew capsule in low Earth orbit high above a cyclonic storm; spacecraft; spaceship; aerospace; commercial spaceflight; private spaceflight; commercial space transportation; solar voltaics; solar cells; photo voltaics - Space Art Illustration
 

Reusable crew capsule in low Earth orbit

This reusable crew capsule (RCC) is the artist's conception of one possible commercial solution for providing manned access to low Earth orbit. Like the Apollo Command and Service Modules of the 1970s, this self-propelled and reusable spacecraft is composed of two basic parts: a crewed capsule capable of returning safely to the  Earth and a disposable service module that provides propulsion, electricity and storage for consumables.

10 feet long with a maximum diameter of 12 feet, the capsule has room for up to seven astronauts and is capable of docking with the International Space Station (ISS) and other spacecraft via the common berthing mechanism (CBM) on the capsule's front.* The complete spacecraft is 26 feet long with solar voltaic panels spanning a total of 50 feet.

*Developed by Boeing under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the CBM features a hatch which can be opened to reveal a 50 inch diameter passage for crew/cargo transfer.

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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