The deal will end NASA’s expensive reliance on Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the space station. NASA has set a goal of 2017 for the first launch from Cape Canaveral, but stressed it will not sacrifice safety to meet that date.
Each contractor will conduct at least two, and as many as six, crewed missions to the space station. These spacecraft also will serve as a lifeboat for astronauts aboard the station.
The Boeing CST-100 is designed to transport up to seven passengers or a mix of crew and cargo to low-Earth orbit destinations such as the international space station.
Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space-exploration company is apparently working under Boeing on this spacecraft contract
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