Boeing opens renovated shuttle facility for 'Starliner' crewed space capsule
Boeing rolled open the doors to its new commercial spacecraft processing facility on Friday (Sept. 4), celebrating the grand opening of the re-purposed space shuttle-era building and revealing the name of the crewed capsule that will be assembled for launch inside.
The ceremony, held inside the facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, marked a milestone for the space agency's partnership with Boeing to develop and operate a new spacecraft capable of ferrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station. As the building-size mural added to the hangar displays, Boeing's Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility, or C3PF, will be used to ready for launch the company's CST-100 – now named the "Starliner" – for flights into Earth orbit.
"When the shuttle program went away, we had this facility available for us to use," remarked Chris Ferguson, who as a NASA astronaut commanded the final shuttle mission in 2011 and is now deputy program manager for commercial crew operations at Boeing. "We cleaned this all out, took a lot of the services out of here, took a lot of the plumbing, put in new facilities and we are getting ready to now build our crew module and our service module."
"We had an incredible history here, and more importantly right now, there's a really bright future," Ferguson said.