The US space agency Nasa has picked the companies it hopes can take the country’s astronauts back into space. It is awarding up $6.2bn to the Boeing and SpaceX firms, to help them finish the development of new crew capsules. Boeing and SpaceX should have their seven-person crew ships ready to take over the role by late 2017.
The agency has released nearly $1.5bn in funding, with most of this money going to Boeing in Texas, California’s SpaceX and a third firm – the Colorado-based Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). The Boeing Corporation is going to receive a fixed-price Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCtCap) contract worth up to $4.2bn. SpaceX will get a contract for a lesser amount – $2.6bn.