NASA adds $30 million for space taxi operation
NEW YORK, CaliforniaThe U.S. space agency NASA awarded $10 million to privately owned Sierra Nevada Corp, $9.99 million to Boeing and $9.59 million to privately owned Space Exploration Technologies to help the firms get their vehicles certified to fly to the station.
Since the retirement of the space shuttles last year, NASA has been dependent on Russia to fly astronauts to the $100 billion orbital outpost, a research laboratory owned and operated by 15 countries that flies about 250 miles above Earth.
The companies have separate agreements with NASA to develop space transportation systems, with the aim of breaking Russia’s monopoly by 2017. Boeing was awarded $460 million for its CST-100 capsule, Space Exploration Technologies received $440 million to upgrade its Dragon cargo capsule to carry people and Sierra Nevada was awarded $212.5 million for work on its winged Dream Chaser.