Turns out NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida won’t be gathering dust following the end of the Space Shuttle Program earlier this year. Providing a glimpse of how the NASA facilities will be used in the future, Boeing has signed an agreement with NASA and Space Florida that will see it using the Orbiter Processing Facility-3 (OPF-3) to manufacture, assemble and test its CST-100 (Crew Space Transportation-100) spacecraft.
The CST-100, which was awarded funding through NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) initiative, is a reusable, capsule-shaped spacecraft designed to ferry seven people into Earth orbit. The spacecraft is designed to be compatible with a variety of expendable rockets and Boeing has selected the United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V launch vehicle for initial CST-100 test flights scheduled for 2015.
The CST-100 will be used to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and it may also be used to take people to the Bigelow Next-Generation Commercial Space Station currently under development by Bigelow Aerospace. Those launches may also take place at Kennedy.