Tuesday, September 20, 2011
NASA has launched a 2-year, $1.61B contract, to be split among yet-unnamed companies, to provide private transport of astronauts to the International Space Station. With the Shuttle retired and everything dependent on Russian crew transport, NASA's commercial spaceflight development director said, "Right now, we have a single-string failure for a $100-billion national lab. Every year we do not have a commercial crew capability, the station is at risk." SpaceX's Dragon will make the first unmanned visit to the ISS by a private reusable spacecraft later this year.