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Taxi! To the Space Station!


Reuters

(Reuters) - NASA is looking for at least two U.S. firms to design and build space taxis to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, program managers said on Tuesday.

NASA plans to invest $300 million to $500 million in each of the firms selected under new 21-month partnership agreements, Ed Mango, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew program, said at an industry briefing at the Kennedy Space Center prior to the release of a solicitation on Tuesday.

The new program aims to build upon previous NASA investments in companies designing commercial passenger spaceships.

With the retirement of the U.S. space shuttles last year, Russia has a monopoly on flying crews to the station, a $100 billion orbiting laboratory for medical, materials science and other research.

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posted: 2/14/2012

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