NASA has awarded projects worth millions to four commercial space transportation companies as part of its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2) program.
The new agreements, which award between $22 million and $92.3 million to Blue Origin, the Boeing Co., Sierra Nevada Corp. and SpaceX, aim to advance commercial crew space transportation system concepts and mature the design and development of elements of their systems, such as launch vehicles and spacecraft, the agency said in a press release.
Blue Origin will get $22 million, Sierra Nevada Corporation $80 million, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) $75 million and Boeing Company $92.3 million.
We're committed to safely transporting U.S. astronauts on American-made spacecraft and ending the outsourcing of this work to foreign governments, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.
These agreements are significant milestones in NASA's plans to take advantage of American ingenuity to get to low-Earth orbit, so we can concentrate our resources on deep space exploration.
NASA said the CCDev2 program is aimed at boosting the availability of U.S. commercial crew transportation capabilities and reduce the gap in American human spaceflight capability. Through this activity, NASA also may be able to spur economic growth as potential new space markets are created, the agency said.
Once developed, crew transportation capabilities could become available to commercial and government customers, NASA said.
The next American-flagged vehicle to carry our astronauts into space is going to be a U.S. commercial provider, said Ed Mango, NASA's Commercial Crew Program manager. The partnerships NASA is forming with industry will support the development of multiple American systems capable of providing future access to low-Earth orbit.