Boeing is Building the Future Here, Now

By Chris Ferguson, Boeing Starliner Astronaut Test Pilot, Former NASA Astronaut and Space Shuttle Commander


Imagine a world where you can look up at the sky from Earth and name at least one person you know living in space.

At Boeing, that dream is becoming more of a reality as we build the future here and now. We’ve already sent probes beyond the influence of our own solar system, we’ve celebrated lunar footsteps, and with our international partners we’ve built an incredible laboratory in low-Earth orbit where people representing 15 nations have been living and working continuously for almost two decades. NASA, with the support of Boeing, has a strong foundation of experience that will help make the aspirations of setting foot – and one day living – on distant worlds realized within our lifetime.

I’ll soon be going back to space with two of my NASA colleagues, flying aboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner on a flight test to the International Space Station. We’ll be returning a critical crew launch capability to the United States for the first time since I commanded the last Space Shuttle mission in 2011.

Our flight aboard the Starliner represents more than just a single mission or a single destination, but a redefining of the space frontier. It’s a mission to never lose our foothold in space while we continue to reach farther than ever before. And it’s a mission to bring more people than ever before to this unbelievable destination above Earth’s atmosphere as we work toward a thriving commercial space ecosystem.

While my heart lies with the space exploration segment of aerospace, I’m fortunate to work for the largest aerospace company in the world. As a retired U.S. Navy captain, I’m proud to be a part of a company that continues to engineer new technologies in all aspects of aviation and aerospace right here in Florida, and around the globe.

Whetzer it’s training commercial pilots and technicians at the company’s largest training center in Miami, providing support to Special Operations Forces in Fort Walton Beach, modifying military aircraft in Jacksonville, or building the future of space exploration on the Space Coast, Boeing and its Florida workforce of more than 1,700 are leading the way.

I look at the work Boeing and other companies are accomplishing in and for space exploration, aerospace, and aviation here and now; and I see these efforts fueling excitement and sparking curiosity in what we have yet to innovate in our industry and explore in the universe. The possibilities for both are limitless.


Florida is a Premier Aviation and Aerospace Location

Florida’s unique history of spaceflight, an entire aviation industry, existing workforce and infrastructure, and unique geography continues to help grow existing Florida companies and attract new and exciting private ventures.

If you believe Florida’s aviation and aerospace industry is essential, sign the petition today.

Military Summit Sponsor Unveils Future of Flight Training


Register for the Summit


Florida Chamber Foundation Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunities Summit Sponsor Boeing, Partners with UCF to Unveil “Virtual Co-Pilots”

In case you missed it, Boeing and the University of Central Florida have developed new technology that will allow pilots to train with a virtual co-pilot, which will help streamline future pilot training.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are crucial pieces to new and innovative technology. Orlando is a hub for innovations like this, thanks in part to partnerships between companies like Boeing and higher educational institutes like the University of Central Florida.

Will You Help Drive the Conversation on How Technological Advancements Can Ensure Florida Remains Globally Competitive?

We will be in Orlando discussing the importance of emerging technology and expanding industries with Florida’s top military and defense leaders as part of our 2017 Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunites Summit. Alongside Boeing, attendees will hear from industry leaders like Lockheed Martin, Harris Corp., Cybrix Group, FloridaMakes and the Florida Defense Contractors Association.

Military Valued During, After Service

By Ron Poland, Director of Operations, Jacksonville Programs for Boeing, Defense, Space & Security

Published in the Orlando Sentinel, August 12, 2014

Throughout the country, we honor military members, veterans and defense workers for their service to the nation. Their efforts enhance national security and contribute to the vitality of local economies across the United States.

Currently, 1.6 million veterans call Florida home. More than 85,000 military and civilian personnel and 750,000 jobs contribute more than $70 billion to our economy. With 20 major military installations, Florida’s armed-services and defense companies are vital economic contributors. In 2013, Florida’s economy surpassed $800 billion, in part because of the contributions of those military installations and the diverse businesses supporting defense programs.

Despite success, we face an uncertain future due to sequestrations and federal budget debates. With many businesses relying on defense contracts and subcontracts, working together will determine how we maintain positive momentum beyond 2030.

To read the complete opinion editorial, please visit the Orlando Sentinel’s website.