NASA Announces Commercial Crew Awards and Next Steps Forward
The effort to restart American manned spaceflight moved forward this morning at the Kennedy Space Center. 90.7s Mark Simpson reports NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden announced three private space firms will receive more than a billion dollars in federal money to develop the next generation of rockets and space craft.
The choice of Sierra Nevada Corporation, Space X, and Boeing moves NASA further away from the problems associated with relying on a single space flight provider or paying another country to get into orbit.
Both issues have gotten a lot of attention since the Space Shuttle retired and U.S. astronauts started riding Russian rockets into space, as NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden seemed to acknowledge, " By investing in American companies and American ingenuity we’re spurring free market competition to give American taxpayers more bang for the buck, while enabling NASA to do what we do best, reach for the heavens."
Sierra Nevada will get just over 212 million dollars, Space X 440 million, and Boeing 460 million, which will be paid out as program milestones set out by NASA are achieved.
The companies differ in their vision of how to deliver low earth orbit and trips to the International Space Station. Concepts range from a space shuttle like craft to an Apollo style capsule.