HOUSTON, Texas, 21 April 2012. Boeing [NYSE: BA] has signed an agreement with NASA's Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) at Johnson Space Center to collaborate on mission planning, training and flight operations for the company’s Commercial Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft.
Under the arrangement, which Boeing negotiated under its current Phase 2 NASA Space Act Agreement for Commercial Crew Development, Boeing will begin discussions with the MOD on integrating launch operations and the company's own mission control facility at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., with training and real-time operations at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Later this year, Boeing plans to enter into a larger agreement with the MOD to provide end-to-end flight operations from the command and control facility in the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center, the site where NASA managed the Apollo missions and all 135 flights of the space shuttle.
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The CST-100 is a reusable, capsule-shaped spacecraft that can transport up to seven people, or a combination of people and cargo. Boeing has designed the spacecraft to be compatible with a variety of expendable rockets. The company has selected United Launch Alliance's Atlas V launch vehicle for initial test flights that will begin as early as 2015.
Boeing is continuing to develop the system design at its Houston and Huntington Beach, Calif., sites and is making preparations to manufacture, assemble and test the CST-100 spacecraft in the former Orbiter Processing Facility-3 at Kennedy Space Center.
Boeing's Commercial Crew Program includes the design, manufacture, test and evaluation, and demonstration of an integrated Commercial Crew Transportation System -- comprised of the CST-100 spacecraft, launch vehicle, and ground and mission operations for NASA's Commercial Crew Development program. The Boeing system will provide crewed flights to the International Space Station and also support the Bigelow Aerospace orbital space complex.