NASA adds $30 million for space taxi work

Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:29am IST

Tourists take pictures of a NASA sign at the Kennedy Space Center visitors complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida April 14, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Files

Tourists take pictures of a NASA sign at the Kennedy Space Center visitors complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida April 14, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

REUTERS - NASA is adding $30 million to its investment in three companies' efforts to develop spaceships that can fly astronauts to the International Space Station, officials said on Monday.

The U.S. space agency awarded $10 million to privately owned Sierra Nevada Corp, $9.99 million to Boeing (BA.N) and $9.59 million to privately owned Space Exploration Technologies to help the firms get their vehicles certified to fly to the station.

Since the retirement of the space shuttles last year, NASA has been dependent on Russia to fly astronauts to the $100 billion orbital outpost, a research laboratory owned and operated by 15 countries that flies about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.

The companies have separate agreements with NASA to develop space transportation systems, with the aim of breaking Russia's monopoly by 2017. Boeing was awarded $460 million for its CST-100 capsule, Space Exploration Technologies received $440 million to upgrade its Dragon cargo capsule to carry people and Sierra Nevada was awarded $212.5 million for work on its winged Dream Chaser.

The earlier awards were to help fund the spaceship designs, while the new awards will help fund the process of certifying that they meet NASA safety requirements to carry humans.

"These contracts represent important progress in restoring human spaceflight capabilities to the United States," Phil McAlister, who oversees NASA's commercial spaceflight programs, said in a statement.

"NASA and its industry partners are committed to the goal of safely and cost-effectively launching astronauts from home within the next five years," he said.

The contracts run from January 22, 2013, through May 30, 2014.

(Reporting by Irene Klotz in Mojave, California; Editing by Jane Sutton and Lisa Shumaker)

FILED UNDER:

WORLD NEWS

Reuters Showcase

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet board approves up to $243 mln share sale plan  Full Article 

Hostage Crisis

Hostage Crisis

Japan, Jordan working closely on fate of captive Japanese journalist  Full Article 

Child Trafficking

Child Trafficking

Police find hundreds of child slaves making bangles - media   Full Article 

Perth ODI

Perth ODI

India collapse for 200 against England  Full Article 

Egypt Attack

Egypt Attack

Islamic State's Egypt wing claims attacks that killed 27 - official Twitter.  Full Article 

Afghanistan Violence

Afghanistan Violence

Three U.S. contractors killed in "insider attack" in Afghan capital.  Full Article 

Change Of Heart

Change Of Heart

Justin Bieber says dropping 'arrogant' and 'conceited' attitude  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage