The Wall Street Journal

Boeing and SpaceX Share $6.8 Billion in NASA Space Taxi Contracts
The Wall Street Journal

NASA has awarded Boeing Co. a contract worth as much as $4.2 billion and rival Space Exploration Technologies Corp. a separate pact valued at up to $2.6 billion to develop, test and fly space taxis to carry U.S. astronauts into orbit.

The American-built rockets and spacecraft would replace the Russian systems that currently provide the only access to the international space station. The space taxi is slated to transport its first astronaut to the orbiting laboratory by 2017.

Tuesday’s long-awaited announcement by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration marks a milestone for commercial space ventures, partly because both companies will own and operate the equipment while experiencing significantly less day-to-day federal oversight than previous manned space programs.

If the programs are successful, NASA officials believe some of the hardware eventually could be used to offer rides to space tourists. Other technology could be adapted in separate NASA efforts to develop a deep-space rocket and more-capable capsules intended to take astronauts to Mars in coming decades.

Il y a quelques années, on pensait que l’exploration spatiale devait obligatoirement être pilotée par le gouvernement. Aujourd’hui, c’est au secteur privé que l’on confie la mission de mettre au point les technologies de demain.