Friday, July 15, 2011

Boeing Interested in Orbiter Hangar

An artist's concept of the Boeing CST-100 docking at a Bigelow inflatable space station.

Back on July 1 I mentioned a rumor I'd heard that a certain aerospace company was interested in leasing Orbiter Processing Facility 3 at Kennedy Space Center, which formerly housed the orbiter Discovery.

Florida Today broke the story today, revealing that it's Boeing.

(My source back on July 1 was a Boeing rep.)

Space beat reporter James Dean writes:

The Boeing Co. is in negotiations with NASA and Space Florida to build a commercial space taxi in a former shuttle hangar at Kennedy Space Center.

If it pans out, the deal would bring hundreds of jobs to KSC starting in the next 12 to 18 months, when the center's employment will be at its lowest level since the end of the Apollo program.

John Elbon, the manager overseeing development of Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft, said Space Florida and KSC were still working out which facilities would be made available, including the hangar
that formerly housed the orbiter Discovery ...

Boeing wants to locate its manufacturing, engineering, integration and flight teams in the same place to increase cost-saving synergies, Elbon said, and is exploring options in multiple states.

The work would require a high bay facility for manufacturing, test facilities and office space, and Discovery's hangar and an adjacent shop have been discussed as a possible fit.

NASA announced on July 7 a deal with Sierra Nevada to lease unspecified facilities at KSC to support their commercial crew entry, the Dream Chaser.

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