NASA has divided more than $269 million among several companies aiming to build commercial spaceships that will carry astronauts to the International Space Station, Reuters reports. According to NASA, Boeing received $92.3 million and Sierra Nevada Corp got $80 million (all USD). Meanwhile, Space Exploration Technology, which was founded by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk and is also known as SpaceX, got $75 million, and Blue Origin, which was founded by Jeff Bezos of Amazon, got $22 million. These companies were competing for funding in NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program, aimed at developing a commercial alternatives to get astronauts back and forth from the International Space Station. U.S. space shuttles will be retired later this year. These companies have to invest their own resources along with government funds, which is different from how U.S. spacecraft has previously been developed. The goal is for NASA to buy commercial orbital space transportation services by 2015.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011