Aug 04, 2012 4:56 AM GMT
Long discounted by the big players in aerospace, SpaceX has been a leader in slashing the costs of space transportation... and now NASA has awarded them with the contract to develop the next generation craft to bring humans to space. What's awesome is that SpaceX's ultimate goal is to provide transportation services to Mars.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) today won a $440 million contract with NASA to develop the successor to the Space Shuttle and transport American astronauts into space.
"This is a decisive milestone in human spaceflight and sets an exciting course for the next phase of American space exploration," said SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk. "SpaceX, along with our partners at NASA, will continue to push the boundaries of space technology to develop the safest, most advanced crew vehicle ever flown."
SpaceX expects to undertake its first manned flight by 2015 - a timetable that capitalizes on the proven success of the company's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft combination. While Dragon is initially being used to transport cargo to the International Space Station, both Dragon and Falcon 9 were designed from the beginning to carry crew.