Saturday, November 19, 2011

NASA Has New Tenant for OPF-1

Could this be the new tenant in OPF-1? An artist's concept of the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser. Image source: Sierra Nevada Corporation.

It's not online (yet), but the print version of the November 19 Florida Today has a front-page article reporting an agreement for NASA to lease Orbiter Processing Facility 1 to an unnamed tenant.

NASA plans to move out of a second shuttle hangar at Kennedy Space Center by next summer so an undisclosed commercial user can move in.

The program readying retired shuttle orbiters for museum display has agreed to vacate Orbiter Processing Facility-1 by Aug. 1, about six months ahead of schedule, said Candrea Thomas, KSC spokeswoman.

The hangar is located across the street from one where The Boeing Co. recently announced it would locate manufacturing and assembly of a capsule for commercial astronauts flights, work that could create 550 jobs by 2015.

NASA entered into an agreement July 7 with Sierra Nevada "to offer technical capabilities from the center's uniquely skilled work force."

Florida Today notes that "Sierra Nevada has previously expressed interest in using a shuttle hangar to process its Dream Chaser vehicle, which resembles a miniature shuttle orbiter."

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