A former space shuttle hangar is now ready for America's newest spaceship.
The grand opening for Boeing's new Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility took place Friday at the Kennedy Space Center. The building, which was once called Orbiter Processing Facility-3, is now the new digs for Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.
Economic leaders in Brevard County said building and processing the spaceship will create 550 jobs in the area. Tons of steel and aluminum work stands and platforms were removed.
A total of 1,040 tons of infrastructure was removed, and 98 percent of that will be recycled.
The new open floor plan gives the facility 78,000 square feet of processing area. It's the same space as 30 average homes in the United States.
Boeing's CST-100 Starliner is scheduled to launch in 2017
The plans are to have Boeing's spacecraft launch on top of an Atlas V rocket, with NASA astronauts on board, for missions to the International Space Station.
The goal is to start launching from Florida in 2017, but with a lack of funding from Congress, launches could be pushed back to 2019.
Meanwhile, SpaceX is making progress on updating launch pad 39A.
Earlier this week, SpaceX released some concept art of what it will look like when a Crew Dragon spacecraft sits on top of a Falcon 9 rocket at pad 39A.
SpaceX and Boeing have both been awarded multi-billion-dollar contracts to send humans to the International Space Station from Florida.
(Photos by Jon Shaban, Staff)