Boeing adds space exploration units

Boeing Co. has opened two new offices to support the administration's space exploration initiatives, the company said.

The Space Exploration Systems office and the Earth Science Applications office will be run out of Washington and Houston, respectively.

In January, President Bush outlined a plan that would send astronauts back to the moon as a step toward future exploration of Mars.

The establishment of Boeing's SES office reflects changes at NASA, which folded the Orbital Space Program into its Office of Exploration Systems. Charles Allen will be vice president and program manager of the Boeing SES unit. He previously managed its OSP office.

Boeing SES will direct development of systems and related technologies to support NASA, the company said. It will participate in studies to establish an open architecture and help lay the groundwork for a new space exploration system.

The Boeing Earth Science Applications office will be headed by Michael Clifford, director and program manager. Clifford previously led the Boeing Space Utilization organization, which will be shut down.

The new organization will develop broad-based application systems to further understand and protect Earth, predict changes in the environment and provide methods for interpreting current and future Earth resource data.

"The Earth Science Applications office will capture new business in the emerging Earth Science area," said Mike Mott, vice president and general manager of Boeing NASA Systems.

Mott said Boeing expects to play a major role in helping NASA develop a sustained and affordable human and robotic program exploring the solar system and beyond. The company has been producing spacecraft for NASA for more than 45 years.

Chicago-based Boeing said the creation of these new organizations will not result in any net losses of Boeing personnel. Employees of the Orbital Space Program and Space Utilization program offices will be transferred into other areas of Boeing NASA Systems or moved into these two new organizations.

With 2003 revenue of $50.5 million, Boeing ranked No. 4 on Washington Technology's 2003 Top 100 list, which measures federal contracting revenue. Washington Technology's 2004 rankings are due out in May.

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