NASA Signs Agreement with Space Florida to Reuse Kennedy Facilities
Boeing to build Crew Transfer Vehicle at KSC, Create 550 Jobs
"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, has an agreement for the use of existing Kennedy Space Center facilities with the Boeing Company to manufacture and test the company's Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) spacecraft, creating many new jobs along the Space Coast.
The 15-year use permit with Space Florida 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," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.
"Kennedy continues working to bring new commercial space activities to the center," said Kennedy 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 announced it is locating its Commercial Crew Program headquarters to the center. Headquartered in St. Louis, the Boeing Companys Defense, Space & Security unit is a $32 billion aerospace giant with 63,000 employees worldwide.
"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 space transportation capability by achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and future low Earth orbit destinations.
"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 Program.
Astronaut transfer to Space Station
Boeing is developing the next Crew Transfer Vehicle to ferry astronauts to the space station. The crew capsule is being called the CST-100 (for Crew Space Transportation.) The "100" in CST-100 refers to the 100 kilometers from the ground to low Earth orbit. Since the space shuttles have been retired, crew replacements are currently handled aboard Russias Soyuz rockets. But only three crew members can be carried at a time.
CST-100 is a reusable capsule-shaped 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. The CST-100 is based on proven materials and subsystem technologies.
The spacecraft design was proposed by Boeing and Bigelow Aerospace. The primary mission of the CST-100 is to transport the crew to the International Space Station, and to private space stations such as the Commercial Space Station proposed by Bigelow.
The design draws upon Boeing's experience with NASA's Apollo, Space Shuttle and ISS programs as well as the Orbital Express project sponsored by the Department of Defense. The CST-100 would be able to support larger crews and be able to remain on-orbit for up to seven months and reused for up to ten missions.
NASA awarded Boeing $18 million for preliminary work on the CST-100 spacecraft and an additional $93 million for further development. Boeing has designed the spacecraft to be compatible with a variety of expendable rockets, including the Atlas V, Delta IV, and Falcon 9. The initial launch vehicle will be the Atlas V.
Boeing moves its Commercial Crew Program to KSC
On October 31, 2011, NASA announced that the Orbiter Processing Facility-3 (OPF-3), the Space Shuttle Main Engine Processing Facility and Processing Control Center (PCC) at Kennedy Space Center would be leased to Boeing to manufacture and test the company's Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) spacecraft, creating as many as 550 jobs along the Space Coast. Boeing is working with Space Florida on agreements to use the KSC facilities for its Commercial Crew program.
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.
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.
The 15-year use permit deal by Space Florida, the aerospace economic development agency of the state of Florida, is the latest step Kennedy is taking as the center transitions from a historically government-only launch complex to a multi-user spaceport.
The goal of NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), also based at Kennedy, is to facilitate the development of a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability by achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and future low Earth orbit destinations.
Read more about Space Florida; NASA's Kennedy Space Center and NASAs commercial transportation programs.