NASA Awards $1.1B in Commercial Spacecraft Design Contracts

August 4, 2012

NASA on Friday awarded $1.1 billion to three companies to complete designs of commercial spacecraft and rockets that could launch astronauts on orbital flights as soon as 2015.

The winners — The Boeing Co., SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corp. — each expect gradually to compete for contracts to fly NASA crews to the International Space Station by 2017.

The awards represent "important progress toward ending the outsourcing of American aerospace jobs and bringing them right back here to Florida and other states all across this country," NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said at Kennedy Space Center.

Since the shuttle's retirement last summer, the U.S. has relied on Russia to transport astronauts and supplies to the station. 

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