NASA has ordered a second space taxi from the Boeing Co. to carry astronauts to the International Space Station a couple of years from now.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule and an upgraded version of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft won’t go into service until 2017 at the earliest, but NASA has to put in its orders well in advance to get the ball rolling. NASA has been providing billions of dollars to support the commercial spaceship development effort.
“Once certified by NASA, the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon each will be capable of two crew launches to the station per year,” Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, said today in a news release. “Placing orders for those missions now really sets us up for a sustainable future aboard the International Space Station.”