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NASA’s in the market for quick space taxi rides

Starliner and space station
An artist’s conception shows a Boeing Starliner space taxi approaching the International Space Station. (Boeing Illustration)

NASA already has committed billions of dollars to procuring regularly scheduled rides to and from the International Space Station from commercial space taxi operators — but now it says it’s interested in buying short-term trips as well.

The proposed arrangement, detailed on Nov. 26, is aimed at giving a boost to the commercialization of space operations in low Earth orbit, as well as to NASA’s drive to send astronauts to the moon by 2024. It also makes the line dividing government-funded and privately funded space efforts even fuzzier.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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