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Sunday, December 18, 2011

An artist's concept of Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spacecraft docked to the International Space Station.
NASA / Sierra Nevada Corporation

IMAGES OF THE DAY... Here are a couple of art concepts—some new, some old—of the non-SpaceX-related commercial vehicles that are also being developed as future crew and cargo carriers to the International Space Station (ISS). Above is an artist’s rendition of Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser spacecraft, while below are illustrations of Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule, Boeing’s CST-100 vehicle, a composite photo of an Atlas V rocket with a CST-100 atop of it and artwork depicting the Liberty Launch Vehicle being proposed by Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) of Promontory, Utah. In today’s U.S. budget climate, it remains to be seen how many of these craft, which are being partially funded by NASA, will become operational in time to ferry astronauts and supplies to the ISS. We’ll see.

An artist's concept of Blue Origin's New Shepard capsule in Earth orbit.
NASA / Blue Origin

An artist's concept of Boeing's CST-100 vehicle in Earth orbit.
NASA / Boeing

A composite photo of an Atlas V/CST-100 launch vehicle, and an artist's concept of ATK's Liberty rocket.
NASA / United Launch Alliance / ATK

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