Elon Musk's SpaceX Just Won A $US2.6 Billion NASA Contract

Boeing CST-100BoeingThis artist rendering could soon be reality: Boeing’s CST-100 capsule is the rumoured frontrunner in the competition for NASA’s Commercial Crew contract.

While three companies were officially in the running to be awarded a lucrative Commercial Crew Program contract from NASA, Boeing and SpaceX were the ones to win contracts totaling $US6.8 billion on September 16.

This victory comes not only with billions of dollars, but also a unique place in the history of manned spaceflight.

The details: Boeing was awarded $US4.2 billion in funding and SpaceX was awarded $US2.6 billion, according to Casey Dreier of The Planetary Society.

Boeing‘s sleek CST-100 capsule was favoured by the Wall Street Journal early this week, according to unnamed government and aerospace-industry officals who view Boeing as the least risky of the three options.

But today, the Washington Post’s Christian Davenport reported that NASA planned to award contracts to both Boeing and SpaceX, effectively splitting the difference between the aerospace giant and the exciting upstart.

“These contracts highlight what commercial companies can accomplish, and we are counting on them to deliver our most precious cargo: the crew that will work on the International Space Station,” said Commercial Crew Program Manager Kathy Lueders, at a live press conference at Kennedy Space Center in Florida announcing the contracts.

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