Boeing and SpaceX Win Contracts to Carry Americans to Space Station
Kenneth Chang | New York Times | 16 September 2014
Boeing and the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation are the winners in the competition to carry Americans astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA announced Tuesday.
The first flights could take off as soon as 2017.
Boeing received a $4.2 billion contract. Space Exploration Technologies – better known as SpaceX, of Hawthorne, Calif. – received a $2.6 billion contract.
A third company under consideration, Sierra Nevada Space Systems of Louisville, Colo., was left out.
Each company is to run a test flight to the space station, and after the systems receive NASA certification, each company will launch at least two and as many as six missions to the space station.
The awards reflect a fundamental shift in NASA’s human spaceflight program, relying on private companies rather than the traditional hands-on approach in which the space agency designed and operated the spacecraft.
The hope is that the commercial approach will spur a space travel industry far larger than just NASA. Boeing, for example, has announced a partnership to fly space tourists to the space station.
Since the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011, NASA has had no way to send its astronauts to orbit, relying on the venerable Russian Soyuz spacecraft for transportation at a cost of $70 million per seat. That became a somewhat politically uneasy arrangement after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.
The Bush administration had announced a NASA program to send astronauts back to the moon, relying on two NASA-designed and operated rockets. The Obama administration, after concluding that approach was too expensive, canceled the rockets and the return to the moon.
Instead, the Obama administration built upon another Bush-era NASA initiative. NASA had hired two companies, SpaceX and the Orbital Sciences Corporation of Vienna, Va., to fly cargo to the space station. Beginning in 2010, NASA began a similar competition to choose companies to carry astronauts, not just cargo.

We should build an astronomical firewall to protect ourselves from knowledge of extraterrestrials ↘

sagansense:

letsdolaunch:

The perseid meteor shower peaks tonight. grab a blanket & someone to snuggle with - head out past your city lights to catch a glimpse. or just watch it live online: 

Have fun out there. If you don’t have anyone to snuggle with, don’t kid yourself…you’re awesome and never alone…not with millions of sibling hominids gazing out into the same universe :)

well put. :]

The perseid meteor shower peaks tonight. grab a blanket & someone to snuggle with - head out past your city lights to catch a glimpse. or just watch it live online: 

still from the upcoming film, ‘interstellar’

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my name is alana. i like sharing space art & connecting with others. LDL chronicles my exploration of the cosmos one daydream at a time.

email me: launchwithme@gmail.com

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