NASA has awarded four more contracts to Boeing and to SpaceX for space taxi trips to and from the International Space Station – dependent on certification that the spacecraft are safe.
SpaceX is working on a crew-capable version of its Dragon capsule for NASA’s use, while Boeing is developing a capsule known as the CST-100 Starliner. Each company has already been given contracts for two flights; the contracts announced today brings the total trips to six for each.
The space taxis haven’t yet been tested in flight. SpaceX has scheduled an uncrewed demonstration flight of its Crew Dragon to the space station in November, followed by a crewed flight test in May 2018. Boeing’s schedule calls for an uncrewed flight in June 2018 and a crewed flight test in August 2018.