NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX Technologies to jointly develop “space taxi” for astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
The value of contracts signed by NASA, Boeing and SpaceX is about $ 6.8 billion, the two companies will received contract revenue of about $ 4.2 billion and $ 2.6 billion. NASA said that before manned flight, the aircraft of two companies must pass safety test. After flight certification, each company will bear 2 to 6 times the transportation task that manned flight to the International Space Station.
Boeing says the contract means that it will build three “Space personnel delivery systems” (CST-100) spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, each spacecraft is capable of carrying seven passengers.
SpaceX CEO ElonMusk said in a statement that he was “deeply honored”for his company selected, Musk also running a electric car company Tesla.
With deepening issue in disagreements between United States and Russia on Ukraine, the United States increasingly worried about that whether it’s safe to carry American astronaut by the Russian”Soyuz”.
According to American media, since 2010, the Obama administration would require NASA to find a competitive domestic to develop spacecraft, restoring America’s space carrying capacity. Since then, NASA allocated special funds to finance Boeing, SpaceX and SierraNevadaCorp.to Develop new spacecraft. This cooperation of NASA, Boeing and SpaceX is partly designed to help the private sector to research and develop the program “CommercialCrewProgram”. According to news on NASA official website, the program aims to “build an safe, credible and economical access to space”, once the new transport system is constructed and running, the private spacecraft would be used to “meet astronauts rotation and emergency return mission”. The project is scheduled to transported the American astronauts to near-Earth orbit with private spacecraft in 2017. NASA has invested more than 1.4 billion U.S. dollars to the private sector on the signing of a partnership and special agreements for this project.