Now the journey of US astronauts to the International Space Station will begin with a ride in the unique Airstream Astrovan II bus.
The first Airstream Astrovan looked like a bullet. It was an important element of space shuttles during the development of astronautics. The bus brought the participants of the flight to the launch pad. Soon Russia took over the function of delivering people to the ISS, and everyone forgot about the legendary bus.
Now the need for a unique vehicle has reappeared. The United States wants to deliver astronauts to the station without the aid of Roscosmos. For these purposes, a second version of the Airstream Astrovan was developed.
In December last year, the test flight of the Starliner capsule ended in failure: it did not enter the required orbit. The defects will be eliminated very soon, and the astronauts will go to the ISS. The first “stop” will be the Airstream Astrovan II.
The bus has an original interior. It is designed to carry six astronauts in spacesuits. The bus's destination is Cape Canaveral, Florida. Airstream Astrovan II will cover a distance of 14,5 km.
Visually, the vehicle resembles a camper. It depicts a spacecraft that will send astronauts into orbit: the CST-100 Starliner.
There is a lot of space inside the bus for the astronauts to feel comfortable. And so that they do not get bored during a short trip, the vehicle is equipped with a large screen and USB ports.