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NASA awards commercial crew funds
Posted: Wed, Feb 3, 2010, 7:27 AM ET (1227 GMT)
As NASA begins plans to rely on commercial providers to carry astronauts into low Earth orbit, the agency awarded Monday $50 million to five companies to help develop systems needed for such services. The five companies, Blue Origin, Boeing, Paragon Space Development Corporation, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and United Launch Alliance, received awards ranging from $1.4 to $20 million as part of NASA's Commercial Crew development, or CCDev, program. The companies will use these awards, along with their own funds, to develop technologies ranging from life support systems to launch escape units that could be used to support future commercial human spaceflight systems. As part of NASA's FY11 budget proposal announced Monday the agency announced plans to spend $6 billion over the next five years on supporting the development and making use of commercial crew transportation services instead of developing its own launch vehicles and spacecraft for launching astronauts.
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