Boeing and the Space Shuttle

Space Shuttle Program Support

The Boeing Company is involved with NASA's Space Shuttle program in several ways.

The space and defense businesses of Rockwell International, later acquired by Boeing, developed and built six space shuttles in total: Atlantis, Challenger, Columbia, Discovery, Endeavor and Enterprise. (Enterprise was used for approach and landing tests only.)

Boeing's Rocketdyne division provides the Space Shuttle Main Engines.

United Space Alliance (USA) is NASA's prime contractor for operation of the space shuttles. USA operates as a standalone company but is equally owned by its two member companies, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. As the major subcontractor to USA, Boeing integrates shuttle system elements and payloads; it also provides operations support services and ongoing engineering support.

Since 1987, Boeing has been the prime contractor to SPACEHAB Inc. for design, maintenance, integration and operation of pressurized, habitable modules that are carried in the payload bay of the space shuttle to facilitate logistics delivery and science research. SPACEHAB modules have been used successfully on 15 shuttle flights. A Research Double Module, along with a full complement of science payloads, flew on STS-107.

The Investigation

Boeing is committing whatever resources are needed to help the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, NASA, and the United Space Alliance identify the root cause and determine corrective actions. Boeing is making available Shuttle experts as well as engineering and scientific resources from across the company as they are needed.


Boeing's NASA Systems team is deeply committed to the technological excellence and safety that is built into every aspect of our nation's human space flight programs. Every day that our people work on the shuttle program, their top priority is ensuring the safety of its mission crews. This commitment to safety runs through all of our design, manufacturing test, inspection and maintenance processes.

Boeing Statement (Feb. 1, 2003)

The men and women of The Boeing Company salute the bravery and dedication of the astronauts who lost their lives in the pursuit of discovery and science today. We join with President Bush and NASA Administrator O'Keefe in expressing our deep sorrow and condolences to the families and loved ones of the shuttle Columbia crewmembers.

We are doing everything possible to support NASA and the United Space Alliance in their investigation of today's tragedy.



United Space Alliance

Space Shuttle

Space Shuttle Main Engine