Starliner spacecraft construction progress shown off at Kennedy Space Center

Boeing, NASA targets 2018 for manned spaceflight


TITUSVILLE, Fla. – NASA and Boeing gave members of the media Tuesday a rare, behind the scenes look at what aerospace leaders say is the next century of spaceflight.

Inside the renovated high bay facility, which formerly served as a hangar for space shuttles, construction continues on the CST-100 Starliner.

The Boeing crew capsule is expected to return Americans to space from Florida's Space Coast
The Starliner's primary mission will be to get astronauts to the International Space Station as part of NASA's Commercial Crew and Development program.

"Right now, our design is in firm configuration. Astronauts are training through all of the mission sequences," said John Mulholland, vice president of Boeing Commercial Programs.

"The Commercial Crew Program is just critical to NASA and to our success," said Kennedy Space Center director Bob Cabana.

News 6 got the rare look at the Starliner as NASA and Boeing made a big announcement.

Leaders signed off on a small business partnership program the aerospace giants said will help smaller space companies be more competitive.

It includes Bastion Technologies, a Houston company currently helping to build the Starliner.

"They learn new technology that really helps us increase our missions and achieve our missions out in space," said Glenn Delgado, with NASA's Office of Small Business Programs.

The Starliner is designed to carry up to seven crew members.

It's going to carry two astronauts on its first manned mission., which is expected to happen in February 2018.

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