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Boeing spacecraft astronauts see new frontier for commercial space

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By Collin Eaton

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In the early NASA years, astronauts demanded some manual controls as they did not want to be simply cargo. Who can blame them. If some thing goes wrong you want some way to take control and survive.

automated Boeing CST-100 Starliner,

There is two worrying words together.

(Boeing) knew how big it was going to be, how it was going to be powered, but they really hadn't thought a whole lot about what the inside would be and how does the crew interface with the vehicle that's designed to operate automatically,

Nothing new there.

The design "is a great compromise between keeping it minimalistic yet at the same time giving the pilot the ability to understand where am I, where do I need to be, how am I going to get there, if things go wrong how do I fix them."

Yes, How do you fix a craft that will be fully automatic ?

"It comes down to watching (the spacecraft's) behaviour," said Ferguson, who led NASA's final space shuttle mission in 2011 and spent more than 40 days in space over his career. "We just want to make sure it doesn't throw us a curve ball."

An auto system caused the fatal crashes of two aircraft and they are still (months later) trying to fix it. So far they have a PATCH.

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