Twenty-one year Boeing [NYSE: BA] veteran John Elbon has been named vice president and program manager for the International Space Station (ISS), NASA Systems, for Boeing. Elbon will lead Boeing's efforts as prime integrating contractor to design, develop, test, launch and operate NASA's orbiting laboratory.
As prime contractor, Boeing NASA Systems has the central role in every aspect of the ISS designing, testing and building. NASA Systems is also responsible for integrating the systems, procedures, and components of 16 participating countries in this worldwide enterprise.
"Leading the ISS team is a great honor," noted Elbon. "This program plays such an integral role in the future of human space exploration and scientific advancements for our world -- I'm thrilled to be a part of it."
Construction of the ISS is the most complex venture ever attempted in space. It will take more than 100 separate elements carried aloft during 88 space flights to assemble the space station. Once complete, the 470-ton structure will house a seven-astronaut crew, in 46,000 cubic feet of pressurized volume the size of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet.
Bruce Melnick, Vice President, Florida Operations for Boeing, praised the promotion of Elbon. "This is great news," he said. "John's leadership will ensure the continued success of the International Space Station program. I can't think of a more deserving individual to fill this position."
Prior to his new appointment, which will be based in Houston, Texas, Elbon has served as program manager for the Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing Services (CAPPS) Contract based at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. for the past three years.
Replacing Elbon is Jim Chilton, who currently serves as CAPPS Director of Mission Management. In his new role, Chilton will be responsible for final assembly and testing of NASA payloads aboard the Space Shuttle and Expendable Launch Vehicle missions. He will also manage shipments of hardware for construction of the International Space Station, seeing ISS to completion and full utilization
Elbon replaces Joe Mills, former NASA Systems vice president for Boeing. Mills will lead the company's newest space initiative, the Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (JIMO) program. JIMO is part of NASA's initiative to develop nuclear power and electric propulsion technologies that will revolutionize space exploration. Boeing is one of three companies involved in the initial phase of this NASA program.
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Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.