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NASA selects Boeing and SpaceX for commercial crew contracts
Posted: Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 10:32 PM ET (0232 GMT)
Boeing CST-100 illustration NASA awarded contracts valued at $6.8 billion Tuesday to Boeing and SpaceX to develop vehicles that will transport NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts cover the development and certification of crew vehicles, including at least one test flight to the ISS; the contracts also include at least two, and as many as six, operational flights to the station once certified. Boeing's contract is valued at $4.2 billion and SpaceX's at $2.6 billion, although NASA officials said the scope of the contracts is the same. Boeing has been developing the CST-100 spacecraft that launches on an Atlas 5, while SpaceX has been working on a crewed version of its Dragon spacecraft that launches on a Falcon 9. NASA's goal is to have the vehicles certified by the end of 2017, but officials said that crew safety will take precedence over schedule. The contract announcement is a setback for Sierra Nevada Corporation, which sought an award for its Dream Chaser vehicle.
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