NASA awards contracts to Boeing and SpaceX to carry astronauts into space

The US space agency NASA announced on Tuesday that it opened a contract with private companies Boeing and SpaceX (for amounts of US$4.2 billion and US$2.6 billion respectively) for the construction of new spacecraft that will transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

The news was communicated by the administrator of NASA, Charles Bolden, who explained that they have set themselves the ambitious goal of 2017 to carry out the first launch from US territory since the shuttle program ended in 2011.

For the past three years, American astronauts have had to rely on Russian Soyuz rockets, at a cost of more than $70 million per seat.

The launches, according to the announcement, will be made again from the traditional center of Cape Canaveral in Florida.