Boeing, Sierra Nevada, SpaceX win NASA funds

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 18, 2011 5:01 PM
Boeing, Sierra Nevada, SpaceX win NASA funds

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA awarded more than $269 million on Monday to several companies vying to build commercial spaceships to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, the space agency said.

Boeing got $92.3 million, while privately held Sierra Nevada Corp got $80 million, NASA said.

Space Exploration Technology, the privately held company founded by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, got $75 million. The company, also known as SpaceX, is considering an initial public offering next year, Musk recently said.

Blue Origin, a secretive company founded by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, got a contract worth $22 million.

The companies were among several competing for the next round of funding in NASA's Commercial Crew Development program.

The program is aimed at providing a U.S. commercial alternative to fly astronauts to the International Space Station after the U.S. space shuttles are retired in 2011.

In the interim, NASA will buy rides on Russia's Soyuz spaceships.

(Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by Jane Sutton)