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Boeing Mentors Small Business During Commercial Crew Development

Beoing assembles the Starliner in the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility, formerly known as Orbiter Processing Facility 3. Photo: NASA

Boeing announced a new mentor-protégée program with one if its subcontractors working on the next capsule that will send U.S. astronauts to space.

Bastion Technologies works with Boeing by manufacturing training mock-ups of the next crewed spacecraft, the CST-100 or Starliner. Bastion is a small business based out of Houston, Texas, that worked with Boeing in the past on computer aided modeling.

Now, under the mentor-protégée agreement announced Tuesady, for the next 18 months Boeing will provide resources like best practices and marketing guidance to help the small business grow.

Boeing Vice President John Mullholand says developing strong partners like Bastion helps Boeing in their efforts to send astronauts back to space. “Our whole success really is based not on just the Boeing team,” said Mullholand, “but the entire team we bring in.”

The private aerospace company is working under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, a program where NASA pays private companies to shuttle astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX has a similar contract.

Joyce McDowell, Kennedy Space Center’s small business specialist said the agreement helps more than just the private companies. “The NASA sponsored partnership will not only bolster the economy by promoting a small business, but it will help return human spaceflight to Florida’s space coast.”

Boeing hires about 1,600 workers in Florida, and assembles the Starliner capsules at Kennedy Space Center.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will send astronauts to space from U.S. soil for the first time since the Space Shuttle was retired.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »