Space flight 'never about the individual

“NASA astronaut reminds CST-100 Starliner suppliers it takes a team of people on the ground to make space flight successful”. 

Los Angeles CA - April 8, 2016 - NASA astronaut Megan McArthur knows the importance of precision, choreography and teamwork. Those three features will allow the CST-100 Starliner to dock to the International Space Station with crew members on board for NASA missions. During visits to two Starliner suppliers that are developing the components that will help guide the Boeing-built spacecraft toward the orbiting laboratory, McArthur emphasized how critical they – and the parts they manufacture – are to the success of the program.  

"It's never about the individual or just the crew members who are in space," McArthur said. "It’s always about the team of folks who are getting us ready to fly, who are getting the hardware ready to fly and keeping us safe while we’re up there. It’s not something we can ever succeed at by ourselves."

During her time at Advanced Scientifics Corp. (ASC) in Santa Barbara, Calif., on April 7, and Qual-Pro Corp. in Gardena, Calif., on April 8, McArthur talked about her time as a space shuttle mission specialist. McArthur operated the shuttle's robotic arm while spacewalkers overcame frozen bolts, stripped screws and stuck handrails in an effort to rejuvenate NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 2009. She also shared her enthusiasm toward the potential of going back to space on a commercially developed system in the future.

“When I was on the STS-135 mission, I knew that was probably the only flight I was going to get on a shuttle and I thought to myself 'If this is all I get, this is more than enough,'" McArthur said. "I still feel that way, but I would like to go back.”

The work performed by ASC and Qual-Pro Corp. will allow many astronauts to return to space and others to make their first trips by flying aboard the Starliner. ASC's work focuses on 3-D Flash Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) Sensor technologies and cameras, which will provide crews with real-time video imagery of the space station through a variety of conditions, including extreme light and dark, dust, fog, smoke and other obscurants in the harsh environment of space. Qual-Pro is building Circuit Cards that will communicate with the Starliner's propulsion, docking and navigation systems. 

"What we’re all engaged in together is to give the United States a new capability to bring our astronauts and cargo to and from the International Space Station, where we do critical research to help us understand how we will get beyond the moon and eventually to Mars," said Chris Ferguson, deputy manager and director of Crew and Mission Operations for Commercial Crew.

Starliner’s first crewed flight test to the International Space Station will be Boeing’s first commercial flight transporting humans to that destination. More information about the CST-100 can be found at

Qual-Pro is an electronics manufacturing service provider certified to NADCAP, AS9100 (aerospace devices), ISO 9001, ISO 13485 (medical devices) and UL 508A (electrical cabinets) quality standards.  The company’s range of expertise encompasses complex Printed Circuit Board (PCB) assemblies and full-box builds.  Qual-Pro offers the complete range of electronics manufacturing services including turnkey system assembly, flex assemblies, BGA and micro-BGA placements, functional and in-circuit testing (ICT), electro-mechanical assembly and design for manufacturability (DFM) services. Qual-Pro specializes in high-mix, low-to-medium volume assemblies, quick-turn prototypes and new product introduction (NPI) services.  They provide complete manufacturing engineering and integrated supply chain services to all their customers. Qual-Pro builds products in its 60,000 square foot state of the art manufacturing facility in Gardena, California and 30,000 square foot facility in Bangkok, Thailand.