Boeing names its new Apollo-style spacecraft the Starliner; crew capsule to fly in 2017

IndustrialsAssociated Press

Boeing already has the Dreamliner. Now it also has the Starliner.

The aviation and aerospace giant announced the name of its future space fleet Friday. More than 200 people gathered at Florida's Kennedy Space Center to celebrate the grand opening of Boeing's commercial crew and cargo processing facility. Once a space shuttle hangar, the transformed building will serve as home to the Starliner. Its first launch with a crew to the International Space Station is targeted for 2017.

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Until Friday, Boeing's still-under-development capsule was known simply as the CST-100, an abbreviation for Crew Space Transportation and 100 kilometers, the threshold of space.

Boeing is one of two private U.S. companies contracted by NASA to transport space station astronauts. SpaceX is developing an enhanced version of its cargo-carrying Dragon capsule.