NASA has committed $1.1 billion over the next 21 months to support spaceship development efforts by the Boeing Co., SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corp., with the aim of having American astronauts flying once more on American spacecraft within five years.
…Today NASA laid out the details, including the outlays for each of the teams involved. The space agency is setting aside $460 million for Boeing, $440 million for SpaceX and $212.5 million for Sierra Nevada.
The next phase of NASA’s commercial spaceflight effort — known as Commercial Crew Integrated Capability, or CCiCap — calls for these three companies to take their design and testing program through a series of milestones by May 2014. Optional milestones could lead to crewed demonstration flights in later years.
NASA wants to have at least one commercial space taxi carrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station by 2017. The three companies say they can meet or beat that schedule, provided that they continue to receive NASA support…
The three companies say their spacecraft will be capable of flying seven astronauts to the space station, at a per-seat cost that’s less than what NASA is paying the Russians…
NASA says the reliance on commercial transport to low Earth orbit would free up the space agency to concentrate on exploration beyond Earth orbit.
RTFA for details on each program – as well as proposals that didn’t make it at this stage; but, just may be worth considering.
Our species is bound and determined to get off this planet. Somehow.