Earlier this year, the U.S. space agency has made a similar buy from Boeing. Both SpaceX and Boeing were chosen to build and launch America’s first private spacecraft, Crew Dragon and CST-100 Starliner respectively, in order to restore America’s human spaceflight capabilities in 2017.
“It is important to have at least two healthy and robust capabilities from U.S. companies to deliver crew and critical scientific experiments from American soil to the space station throughout its lifespan.”
Determination of which company will fly its mission to the station first will be made at a later time, NASA said.
Under NASA’s contracts, both companies will respectively fly a minimum of two and a maximum potential of six missions.
NASA has had to rely on Russian spacecraft to transport its astronauts to the space station and back since the space shuttle program retired in 2011. Enditem