NASA's Next Space Race: SpaceX vs. Boeing

January 19, 2016 – 12:07 am

SpaceX's Dragon V2 InteriorNASA Administrator Charles Bolden answers questions during a commercial crew press event on Jan. 26, 2015.
Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz

NASA is providing SpaceX and Boeing with funds to develop the crewed Dragon and CST-100 spacecraft. SpaceX will receive $2.6 billion of the $6.8 billion total in the contract, and Boeing will get $4.2 billion. Bolden is also confident that the Commercial Crew Program will continue to receive support from Congress in the next round of budget approvals.

SpaceX is planning to perform the first abort system test — designed to get astronauts out of harm's way should something go wrong during a crewed launch — this year, with another abort test expected later in 2015. In 2016, the spaceflight company is expected to launch an uncrewed Dragon to the space station atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX representatives hope to launch a crewed mission shortly after that, in 2017.

Bolden at CCP Event Boeing is planning on launching its uncrewed and first crewed missions to the space station in 2017. A Boeing pilot and NASA astronaut will be aboard for the first flight, John Elbon, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space Exploration, said during the news conference.

"It's a great time to be a part of the American space program, which is on its way to Mars, " NASA astronaut Mike Fincke said. "There's not another group on this planet, or off this planet, that wants the success of the Commercial Crew Program more than we do."

Follow Miriam Kramer @mirikramer. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com


Source: www.space.com

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