Founded by William E. Boeing on July 15, 1916, the Boeing Company is the world’s largest aerospace company, manufacturing commercial and military airplanes as well as defense, space, and security systems. It became involved with NASA in 1961 when it won a contract to build the first stage of the Saturn V launch vehicle, also known as S-IC. Boeing went on to produce several more products and systems for the manned spaceflight program, including the Lunar Orbiter and the Lunar Roving Vehicle. After the Apollo 1 tragedy in 1967, the company also provided the spacecraft with technical integration and evaluation, or TIE, which offered daily monitoring of millions of pieces of hardware.
Boeing remains a leading manufacturer in the space industry, acquiring Rockwell International’s aerospace and defense assets (which included its Space Shuttle Orbiter as well as what was once North American Aviation and Rocketdyne) in 1996 and merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. It served as the prime contractor for the International Space Station, and continues to manage the outpost’s subsystems and provide engineering support for hardware and software on the American segment. The company’s Defense, Space, and Security division produces satellites and space systems as well as manages space pre-production development programs, like the Space Launch System. It is also a partner in two space industry joint ventures: United Space Alliance and United Launch Alliance.