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Monday, October 31, 2011

Boeing to establish center in Florida for new spaceship program -

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Boeing to establish center in Florida for new spaceship program

Aerospace giant Boeing Co. announced plans to establish a headquarters for its new spaceship program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The Chicago company is in the process of developing a seven-person spaceship, dubbed the Crew Space Transportation-100, for the job of ferrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station now that the space shuttle program is over.

Boeing will consolidate the program’s engineering and manufacturing operations, which are now spread across the country in space-centric cities like Huntington Beach, Houston and Huntsville, Ala. Boeing’s decision is expected to bring back high-paying aerospace jobs to the nation’s “space coast,” near Cape Canaveral, which lost thousands of jobs when the shuttle program was retired this year.

"We selected Florida due to the cost benefits achieved with a consolidated operation, the skilled local workforce and proximity to our NASA customer,” John Mulholland, Boeing’s program manager of commercial programs, said in a statement.

Boeing estimated that the workforce at Kennedy Space Center will ramp up to 550 local jobs by December 2015. Although that's a relatively small number compared with the tens of thousands employed during the shuttle program, the announcement was heralded by state officials.


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