Two years after the last Shuttle mission, Boeing unveils its new test capsule.
The CST 100 is designed to carry a crew of up to seven to and from the International Space Station, but unlike capsules of the Apollo and Mercury days, this one would parachute down to land and be used over and over.
"It will come back and land on land with a combination of parachutes and landing air bags," said John Mulholland, Boeing's VP and Program Manager for Commercial Programs.
"That system will be recovered and transported back to Florida where the crew module will be refurbished and integrated for another flight," he said.
Astronaut Serena Aunon was excited to finally test out an American-made spacecraft.
"The Russian Soyuz trainer, you are in pretty close quarters, so definitely these vehicles feel roomier," Aunon told reporters Monday. "It's an upgrade; it's an American vehicle so of course it's an upgrade."
With astronauts still hitching rides with the Russians, NASA officials can't wait to put their own vehicle into use.
"I'm really looking forward to the day when we will be bringing our expedition crews home, and I won't need a passport or visa to go to the landing site," said Kathy Lueders, Deputy Program Manager for NASA's Commercial Crew Program.
Boeing expects a fully operational capsule by October, with a launch date by the end of 2017.