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NASA picks 3 private firms to develop space taxis


Buster's Uncle:

--- Quote ---NASA picks 3 private firms to develop space taxis
By SETH BORENSTEIN | Associated Press – 23 hrs ago.. .

WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA has picked three aerospace companies to build small rocketships to take astronauts to the International Space Station.

This is the third phase of NASA's efforts to get private space companies to take over the job of the now-retired space shuttle. The space agency is giving them more than $1.1 billion.

Once the spaceships are built, NASA plans to hire the private companies to taxi astronauts into space within five years. Until they are ready, NASA is paying Russia to do the job

The three companies are the Boeing Co. of Houston, Space Exploration Technologies, called SpaceX, of Hawthorne, Calif., and Sierra Nevada Corp. of Louisville, Colo.

NASA's commercial crew development program started with seven commercial companies.

--- End quote ---

Of those, the SpaceX capsule is by FAR the furthest along, ya know, since it's already been UP THERE and all.  They just have some safety testing of the crew portion/option on the capsule now. 

I frankly don't see the Sierra Nevada one getting off the ground for a while. 

Boeing has had theirs in developement for a LONG time, on a different contract, but haven't done any real flight testing yet, due to that other contract.  It should be ready to go for some flight tests in a hurry, but I openly question using the Atlas 5 which will need some rather serious modifications to bring it human-safe levels of acceleration, and it hasn't exactly had the best reliability history as it is. 


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