Space

NASA selects Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts to space station

NASA selects Boeing and SpaceX...
NASA has announced that Boeing and SpaceX would provide manned spacecraft to service the ISS (Image: NASA)
NASA has announced that Boeing and SpaceX would provide manned spacecraft to service the ISS (Image: NASA)
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NASA has announced that Boeing and SpaceX would provide manned spacecraft to service the ISS (Image: NASA)
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NASA has announced that Boeing and SpaceX would provide manned spacecraft to service the ISS (Image: NASA)
The Boeing CST-100
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The Boeing CST-100
The SpaceX Dragon
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The SpaceX Dragon
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The dawn of manned commercial spaceflight received a major boost as NASA announced in a news conference today that Boeing and SpaceX have been chosen to ferry US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The US$6.8 billion contract was divided between the two companies to cover the cost of certification of the Boeing CST-100 and the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, one demonstration mission for each, plus six commercial missions to the station.

The Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts awards, which are based on the cost proposals submitted by the companies, are split with US$4.2 billion going to Boeing and US$2.6 billion to SpaceX.

Under the terms of the contracts, each company will continue development of its spacecraft and complete the certification process, which includes a demonstration flight to the ISS by 2017 with at least one NASA astronaut aboard. If this step is successfully completed, each company will then carry out three missions each to the station.

Both the Boeing and SpaceX craft are part of complete space transportation systems developed, built, and operated by their respective companies, and were developed in part under a public-private partnership with NASA to encourage private industry to take over the ferrying of US astronauts to the ISS after the retirement of the US Space Shuttle.

NASA says that after the current contracts are completed, other companies would be invited to provide additional spacecraft and services if the ISS mission is extended.

Source: NASA

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9 comments
Bill Bennett
Good, stop paying Putin 71 million dollars for each visit, screw Russia, sincerely, General Jack D,. Ripper USAF
P17
Yeah, well said Bill Bennett......waste more public money funding presidential supporters to further US economic policy. Putin should have left your astronaut Steven Swanson up there to wait for Space X and Boeing to get him down. However, unlike the untrustworthy Obama administration, the Russians honoured their contract and treated Swanson as a colleague. Imagine what would have happened if it was the other way round?
Curly Oldfield
I love that Space X got 2 billion less with their budget proposal..
BigGoofyGuy
I think it would be a great idea to extend the ISS mission even if it is just to see what other companies can come up with.
dugnology
Space X got 2 billion less because that is more than what it will take to do the job as compared to Boeing et al. Not only that, Space X will cost much less in the long run with re-useability and landing logistics. Boeing won the bigger contract because they have deeper pockets and better lobbyists. It is capitalism (Musk) versus an entrenched military industrial complex. Not to disparage NASA or Boeing, both of whom have great engineers, but the environment they operate in is too politically motivated. Don't blame Obama, this is something that invades government on all levels. Just look at the Tanker program and the LRS-B program.
Pat Kelley
The only loser is Sierra Nevada, since Blue Origin became a subcontractor to Boeing. While this is better than a single award to the big government lobbyist, it's still obvious cronyism. I guarantee the operating cost of the Boeing system will be at least double that of SpaceX, since the launch vehicle is expendable (SpaceX is working to recover the Falcon 9 for reuse), and the Boeing capsule has to be recovered from the ocean (SpaceX's Dragon 2 is designed for a powered landing).
Stephen N Russell
Need SNC Dream Chaser as stand alone shuttle to ISS Fund alone via pvt sector for DC?
Bruce Sherman
You are so right, "The Master". The world was perfect, and then that Obama came along and ruined everything.
redjeff53
the frontier of outer space is daunting enough without the 'self-righteous' militant attitudes of some 'over-hormoned' 'boot-licking',superstitious fools! learn science,overcome challenges,and get to work!