The U.S. space agency wants to help private companies reach the stars without outsourcing to other countries
Though many of us dream of exploring the stars or starting a human colony on Mars, that dream is not shared by the government. If the United States is going to return to the stars, it's going to need the help of private companies — a fact NASA seems to acknowledge via its new $1.1 billion agreement to support private space craft development.
Specifically, the space agency has made funding agreements with three private companies that seek to send man into space. The Sierra Nevada corporation will receive $212.5 million, SpaceX will get $440 million, and Boeing will get $460 million. The goal, aside from going where no man has ever gone before, is to keep space-related jobs in American hands. Says NASA administrator Charles Bolden, "We have selected three companies that will help keep us on track to end the outsourcing of human spaceflight and create high-paying jobs in Florida and elsewhere across the country."
Sierra Nevada, SpaceX, and Boeing will be using the money to perform tests over the next two years in an effort to "launch crewed orbital demonstration missions to low Earth orbit" by 2015. From there, it's hoped that the companies will help provide a means to explore the solar system.
[Image credit: NASA]
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