The Airstream Astrovan is back, and the new RV is prepared to carry astronauts to the Boeing CST-100 Starliner for their journey to the International Space Station. It uses the company's Atlas Touring Coach as a starting point but with a custom interior.
Gallery: Airstream Astrovan II
"The original Astrovan played an important role in America’s Space Shuttle era. Many will remember seeing that familiar silver bullet exterior heading out to the launchpad at Kennedy Space Center. We’re excited for Astrovan II to continue Airstream’s part in helping put Americans into orbit," Bob Wheeler, CEO and President of Airstream, said about the new creation.
The Astrovan II's job will be to carry astronauts on the nine-mile (14.5-kilometer) journey to the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Florida. These missions will mark the return for people going into space from a launch in the United States for the first time since the end of the Space Shuttle's use in 2011.
The exterior of the Astrovan II looks like a fairly Airstream Atlas Touring Coach. The major change is a wrap that shows the CST-100 Starliner capsule floating in space.
The Astrovan II has room for six astronauts in the rear cabin. The chairs run along the walls of the interior, which leaves a large, open area in the center. Each chair has access to a 110-volt outlet and USB ports. A large screen is on the rear wall.
Airstream and NASA have a history together even before the original Astrovan. In 1969, Astronauts during the Apollo 11, 12, and 14 missions returned to earth and spent time in the Mobile Quarantine Facility. Airstream built these structures, and they were essentially highly modified versions of the company's travel trailers.
AIRSTREAM AND BOEING PARTNER FOR NEW ASTRONAUT TRANSFER VEHICLE – THE ASTROVAN II
Custom Airstream will transport Boeing astronauts to the CST-100 Starliner launch pad
JACKSON CENTER, OH — (October 21, 2019) -- Airstream, innovative maker of the iconic “Silver Bullet” travel trailer, today announced the launch of its one-of-a-kind Astrovan II in partnership with Boeing. As part of Boeing’s Commercial Crew program, the Astrovan II will transport astronauts to the launchpad of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. The first crewed launch of the CST-100 Starliner is scheduled for 2020, following an uncrewed mission in December 2019. It will carry three astronauts to the International Space Station.
This project continues Airstream’s 50-year history supporting the nation’s space programs. In February 2018 Airstream, Boeing, and NASA began discussions to build the eight seat transport vehicle. Astrovan II is built on a modified Airstream Atlas Touring Coach and was handcrafted by the men and women at Airstream’s production facility in Jackson Center, Ohio.
“We are honored to have had the opportunity to partner with Boeing and continue the long- standing relationship with our country’s space programs that began with the Apollo 11 launch,” said Bob Wheeler, CEO and President of Airstream. “The original Astrovan played an important role in America’s Space Shuttle era. Many will remember seeing that familiar silver bullet exterior heading out to the launchpad at Kennedy Space Center. We’re excited for Astrovan II to continue Airstream’s part in helping put Americans into orbit.”
Over the years, the sight of Airstream’s shiny silver exterior and bold NASA emblem evoked pride and excitement for many of those who watched it approach the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Since 1984, each shuttle crew has traveled those nine miles, from the crew quarters to the launch pad, aboard the same vehicle; a modified Airstream Excella commonly referred to as the “Astrovan,” which is currently on display at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex next to the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
Airstream began its role in supporting America’s space exploration efforts starting in 1969 – the year Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. Fearing that disease would spread upon the astronauts’ return, Airstream was tasked to build a Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) for Neil
Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins. A total of four MQFs were built by Airstream, three of which were used in Apollo 11, Apollo 12, and Apollo 14 missions.
For more information on the Astrovan II, please visit www.airstream.com. ABOUT AIRSTREAM:
Airstream, manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” Airstream® travel trailer, is the longest-tenured recreational vehicle manufacturer in the world. The company’s mission, as set forth by founder Wally Byam, is to create well-designed, high-quality products that allow people to follow their dreams and
explore the world in home-like comfort.
A steadfast commitment to Byam’s credo, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements,” has made the aluminum Airstream travel trailer a timeless classic. An unwavering focus on innovation keeps the company at the forefront of technology and customer experience in both the towable and motorized sectors.
Airstream is based in Jackson Center, Ohio, where a team of skilled craftspeople hand builds each travel trailer and upfits every Mercedes-Benz(R) touring coach, adding daily to the brand’s reputation for quality and innovation.
For more information, please visit Airstream.com, call 877-596-6111 or mail us at Airstream, Inc., 419 West Pike Street, P.O. Box 629, Jackson Center, Ohio 45334.
Learn more about Airstream, our dealers, and current travel trailer and touring coach models at airstream.com. For the latest news on Airstream, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
Airstream, Inc. is a subsidiary of Elkhart, IN-based Thor Industries, Inc. (NYSE: THO). Thor is the sole owner of 25 brand companies, supported by approximately 210 facilities in five countries that, combined, represent the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles. For more information on Thor and its products, please go to www.thorindustries.com.
Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space and security systems, and service provider of aftermarket support. As America’s biggest manufacturing exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and
communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.
Boeing has a long tradition of aerospace leadership and innovation. The company continues to expand its product line and services to meet emerging customer needs. Its broad range of capabilities includes creating new, more efficient members of its commercial airplane family; designing, building and integrating military platforms and defense systems; creating advanced technology solutions; and
arranging innovative financing and service options for customers.
With corporate offices in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 153,000 people across the United States and in more than 65 countries. This represents one of the most diverse, talented and innovative
workforces anywhere. Our enterprise also leverages the talents of hundreds of thousands more skilled people working for Boeing suppliers worldwide.
Boeing is organized into three business units: Commercial Airplanes; Defense, Space & Security; and Boeing Global Services, which began operations July 1, 2017. Supporting these units is Boeing Capital Corporation, a global provider of financing solutions.
In addition, functional organizations working across the company focus on engineering and program management; technology and development-program execution; advanced design and manufacturing systems; safety, finance, quality and productivity improvement and information technology.