NASA Selects Commercial Firms to Begin Development of Crew Transportation Concepts and Technology Demonstrations for Human Spaceflight Using Recovery

WASHINGTON -- NASA has awarded $50 million through funded agreements
to further the commercial sector's capability to support transport of
crew to and from low Earth orbit. This step is the first taken by
NASA consistent with the president's direction to foster commercial
human spaceflight capabilities.

"The president has asked NASA to partner with the aerospace industry
in a fundamentally new way, making commercially provided services the
primary mode of astronaut transportation to the International Space
Station," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "We are pleased to
be able to quickly move forward to advance this exciting plan for

Through an open competition for funds from the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009, NASA has awarded Space Act Agreements to
Blue Origin of Kent, Wash.; The Boeing Company of Houston; Paragon
Space Development Corporation of Tucson, Ariz.; Sierra Nevada
Corporation of Louisville, Colo.; and United Launch Alliance of
Centennial, Colo. The agreements are for the development of crew
concepts and technology demonstrations and investigations for future
commercial support of human spaceflight.

The Space Act Agreements are designed to foster entrepreneurial
activity leading to high-tech job growth in engineering, analysis,
design and research, and to promote economic growth as capabilities
for new markets are created. Funding for these Space Act Agreements
will stimulate efforts within the private sector to develop and
demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities.

"These selections represent a critical step to enable future
commercial human spaceflight," said Doug Cooke, associate
administrator for Exploration Systems at NASA. "These impressive
proposals will advance NASA significantly along the path to using
commercial services to ferry astronauts to and from low Earth orbit,
and we look forward to working with the selected teams," Cooke said.

All Space Act Agreements are designed to partially fund the
development of system concepts, key technologies, and capabilities
that could ultimately be used in commercial crew human space
transportation systems. The selected teams also proposed matching
funds from other sources that would leverage the taxpayer investment.
The selected teams and awards are:

Blue Origin will receive $3.7 million

The Boeing Company will receive $18 million

Paragon Space Development Corporation will receive $1.4 million

Sierra Nevada Corporation will receive $20 million

United Launch Alliance will receive $6.7 million

The signed Space Act Agreements will fund performance milestones
beginning in February 2010. The aggregate value of all of the Space
Act Agreements is approximately $50 million.

The Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office at NASA's Johnson Space
Center in Houston is managing this effort.
For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program,


For the most current information about NASA's use of the Recovery Act
funds, visit:


Source: NASA

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