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:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

MH17 CRASH

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Suicide Attack

Suicide Attack

Three foreign advisers killed near Kabul airport.  Full Article 

Gaza Crisis

Gaza Crisis

Israel keeps up Gaza assaults, Kerry presses for truce.  Full Article 

Typhoon Matmo

Typhoon Matmo

Philippines raises storm alert level as Matmo churns toward Taiwan.  Full Article 

Inside Thailand

Inside Thailand

Thai junta leader to meet king over interim constitution.  Full Article 

Shooting Scars

Shooting Scars

Norway, survivors still bear scars of Breivik shootings.  Full Article 

Presidential Polls

Presidential Polls

Indonesian leader urges presidential election loser to concede.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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