NASA Funds Private Spaceship Builders
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In total, the organization that has been the spearhead of the race to the stars will award $269.3 million to four companies. Both big names of the aerospace industry, as well as names less known worldwide, will be in charge with creating the second phase of space exploration: civilian space flight.
Most of the money, $92.3 million, will go to Boeing, who plans to use the money for the creation of the Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) spacecraft. Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX, a company founded by Tesla leader, Elon Musk) got the right to use $75 million for the development of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship.
$80 million will go to the Sierra Nevada Corp. for research into the creation of the Dream Chaser seven-person spacecraft, while the rest of the money, $22 million, will be used by Blue Origin (founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for the New Shepard craft. None of the companies announced any timetable for their creations to be launched.
"We're committed to safely transporting U.S. astronauts on American-made spacecraft and ending the outsourcing of this work to foreign governments," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement cited by Space.com. "These agreements are significant milestones in NASA's plans to take advantage of American ingenuity to get to low-Earth orbit, so we can concentrate our resources on deep space exploration."
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