NASA has formed a partnership with economic development agency Space Florida to continue using the Kennedy Space Center’s Orbiter Processing Facility-3 and Processing Control Center, formerly used for the space shuttle program.
An agency statement says the agreements will create about 550 jobs in the region known as the Space Coast.
“Neither NASA nor the Space Coast can afford to stand still,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. ” We must be aggressive in pursuing this next generation of space exploration — and the jobs and innovation that will accompany it.”
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program aims to facilitate development of U.S. commercial crew space transportation capabilities, creating reliable and cost effective access to the International Space Station and future low Earth orbit destinations.
For its part, Boeing will manufacture, assemble and test the CST-1oo spacecraft at the KSC. The spacecraft is designed to transport seven people at a time.
“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, Boeing’s commercial crew program manager.