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Forum:Commercial Space - Military Space
Topic:Boeing leases Kennedy facilities for CST-100
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"The next era of space exploration won't wait, and so we can't wait for Congress to do its job and give our space program the funding it needs. That's why my Administration will be pressing forward, in partnership with Space Florida and the private sector, to create jobs and make sure America continues to lead the world in exploration and discovery," President Barack Obama said.

Space Florida, the aerospace economic development agency of the state of Florida, is leasing the Orbiter Processing Facility-3 to the Boeing Company to manufacture and test the company's Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) spacecraft, creating up to 550 jobs along the Space Coast. The 15-year use permit deal is the latest step Kennedy is making as the center transitions from a historically government-only launch complex to a multi-user spaceport.

"Neither NASA nor the Space Coast can afford to stand still. We must be aggressive in pursuing this next generation of space exploration – and the jobs and innovation that will accompany it," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

"Kennedy continues working to bring new commercial space activities to the center," said center director Bob Cabana. "Partnering with Space Florida to enable commercial space operations at Kennedy will help NASA maintain facilities and assets while supporting our nation's space objectives and expanding opportunities for the U.S. economy."

In addition to the agreement Boeing is signing with Space Florida to reuse existing KSC facilities, the aerospace company announced it is locating it Commercial Crew Program headquarters at the center.

"We are extremely pleased that Boeing will locate its commercial crew headquarters here in Florida," said Frank DiBello, president of Space Florida. "This positions our state well for future growth and a leadership role in NASA's next-generation human space exploration initiatives. It is also a key factor in ensuring Florida's space-related economy continues to thrive."

The goal of NASA's Commercial Crew Program is to facilitate the development of a U.S. commercial crew transportation capability by achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and future low Earth orbit destinations.

Orbiter Processing Facility 3 (OPF-3). Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

"We selected Florida for the commercial crew headquarters because of its close proximity to not only our NASA customer at Kennedy Space Center, but also because of outstanding facilities and an experienced space workforce," said John Elbon, vice president and program manager of Boeing's Commercial Crew Programs.

Boeing is developing the CST-100, a reusable capsule-shape spacecraft that will consist of a crew module and service module for transporting up to seven people, or a combination of people and cargo to space.

Robert PearlmanBoeing release
Boeing to Establish Commercial Crew Program Office in Florida

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today (Oct. 31) announced plans 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."

"We are extremely pleased that Boeing will locate its Commercial Crew headquarters here in Florida," said Frank DiBello, president of Space Florida, the State's aerospace economic development agency. "This positions our state well for future growth and a leadership role in NASA's next generation human space exploration initiatives. It is also a key factor in ensuring Florida's space-related economy continues to thrive after shuttle retirement."

Boeing is working with Space Florida on agreements to use Kennedy Space Center's Orbiter Processing Facility 3 (OPF-3) and Processing Control Center (PCC) facilities for its commercial crew program.

The OPF-3, previously used to perform maintenance on 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 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.

Credit: Boeing

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.

Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida's position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida's aerospace development organization, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 63,000 employees worldwide.

Robert PearlmanFlorida Today provides an update on the transition of Orbiter Processing Facility-3 (OPF-3) into the renamed Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility, or C3PF, to manufacture, assemble and test its CST-100 commercial crew capsules.
In the Kennedy Space Center hangar that Discovery once called home, an excavator’s jaws on a recent afternoon clamped onto a third-floor catwalk, ripped a section away and dropped it into a tangled pile.

Thundering booms echoed as another excavator smashed a mound of scrap metal in the opposite corner.

It was a loud and jarring scene inside the 25-year-old hangar previously known as Orbiter Processing Facility 3, or OPF-3, a place shuttle workers took extensive precautions to keep free of dirt and debris that could damage an orbiter being readied for flight.

And it's the most tangible evidence yet that unneeded shuttle infrastructure may have a future serving private spacecraft, and that KSC is shifting to a new way of doing business after the shuttle’s retirement.

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