Aerospace Giant Takes Small Firm Under Its Wing
NASA launches a new mentoring effort aimed at expanding Commercial Crew Program activities.
NASA’s Office of Small Business Programs and Boeing have initiated a new mentor-protégé agreement tied to the company’s entry into the space agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Boeing will mentor Bastion Technologies, a small business that has worked with the larger firm on the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, which is being built to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. Under the agreement, Boeing will share manufacturing, quality and business development practices with Bastion for 18 months.
Bastion also worked with Boeing on the International Space Station before its assembly. John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Boeing Commercial Programs, says the goal of the agreement is to improve Bastion’s efficiency as a manufacturer and a Boeing supplier.
Concurrent with the announcement of Boeing’s mentoring partnership, the large aerospace firm unveiled its clean-floor factory located in what used to be the Kennedy Space Center’s Orbiter Processing Facility 3. The renovated facility will serve as the hub for Starliner spacecraft as they are manufactured, prepared for flight and refurbished for subsequent missions.
A Starliner mock-up is now being used for rapid-fire engineering verification activities, ergonomic evaluations and crew ingress and egress training. Boeing aims to launch humans aboard Starliner to the International Space Station in 2018.