By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
The codes AV-073 and AV-080 may not mean much to many, but they mean a whole lot to former astronaut Chris Ferguson and the team of engineers and technicians who will assemble the first Atlas V rocket to launch a crew to the International Space Station. That test and a precursor flight without crew are part of the final development work Boeing is completing with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to certify a new crew transportation system for low-Earth orbit.
On its factory floor in Decatur, Alabama, United Launch Alliance, or ULA, is beginning to fabricate parts for the two rockets that are to launch Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft in 2017.