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Boeing to Establish Commercial Crew Program Office in Florida

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Boeing is planning to consolidate its Commercial Crew program office, manufacturing and operations at the Kennedy Space Center(KSC).

Boeing, in partnership with Space Florida, has an arrangement to use the Orbiter Processing Facility-3 (OPF-3) to manufacture, assemble, and test the company’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft.

“We selected Florida due to the cost benefits achieved with a consolidated operation, the skilled local workforce, and proximity to our NASA customer,” said John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Commercial Programs for Boeing Space Exploration. “Pending the continued selection of Boeing for future Commercial Crew development and service contracts, and sufficient NASA funding, we project a Commercial Crew program workforce ramping up to 550 local jobs by our scheduled operational date of December 2015. The CST-100 will provide NASA with reliable, safe, and affordable transportation to the International Space Station and other destinations in Low Earth Orbit.”

Boeing is working with Space Florida on agreements to use Kennedy Space Center’s Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 (OPF-3) and Processing Control Center (PCC) facilities for Commercial Crew program execution. The OPF-3, previously used to perform maintenance on the space shuttle orbiters, features approximately 64,000 square feet of manufacturing and processing areas and about 64,000 square feet of office, laboratory and logistics areas. The PCC consists of approximately 99,000 square feet of control rooms and office space Boeing plans to use to support mission operations, training and program offices. The PCC previously supported shuttle orbiter testing, launch team training, and computer system software and hardware development and maintenance operations.

In partnership with Space Florida, Boeing plans to modernize the facilities to provide efficient production and testing operations that optimize the company’s best practices from satellite manufacturing, space launch vehicles and commercial airplane production programs.

The Commercial Crew program consists of developing, manufacturing, testing and evaluating, and demonstrating the CST-100 spacecraft, launch vehicle and mission operations -- all part of Boeing’s Commercial Crew Transportation System (CCTS) -- for NASA’s new Commercial Crew human spaceflight program that will provide flights to the International Space Station. Boeing’s system will also be capable of supporting Bigelow Aerospace’s planned orbital space complex. The program is based on the company’s experience and innovation over the past 50 years of human spaceflight and nearly 100 years of commercial aviation.

The CST-100 is a reusable capsule-shaped spacecraft based on proven materials and subsystem technologies that can transport up to seven people, or a combination of people and cargo. Boeing has designed the spacecraft to be compatible with a variety of expendable rockets and selected the United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V launch vehicle for initial CST-100 test flights in 2015.

In his remarks, Mulholland expressed Boeing’s gratitude to the organizations that contributed to the success of this project, including NASA, Space Florida, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Enterprise Florida, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, and Brevard Workforce. 

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