From: Mars Society
Posted: Tuesday, September 16, 2014
(Washington, DC) - Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected Boeing and SpaceX to continue the development, test, and certification activities needed before the agency can eventually select a provider or providers for commercial crew transportation services to the International Space Station (ISS).
Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said of the awards:
"I want to congratulate Boeing and SpaceX on receiving these awards. With the Shuttle fleet retired, NASA has focused its human space flight priorities on the effective use of the ISS; the development of a beyond low Earth orbit exploration capability using the System Launch System and Orion crew capsule; and public/private partnerships that, if successful, will eventually allow NASA to buy services -- not vehicles -- to transport its astronauts to the ISS. I am encouraged by today's announcement as it will allow NASA, Boeing, and SpaceX to complete development, testing and certification of the needed capability. That capability must be proven safe according to NASA requirements and it must be cost-effective given the significant investment taxpayers are being asked to make. These partnerships are important and I look forward to monitoring their development because we need safe and reliable crew transport to allow the full and productive utilization of the ISS. I commend NASA, its employees, and supporting contractors on reaching this important milestone, and I urge the agency to heed the thrust of the House-passed NASA Authorization Act by keeping safety as the highest priority in executing this contract and in implementing future Commercial Crew Program endeavors."
Space Subcommittee Ranking Member Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) remarked:
"I offer my congratulations to Boeing and SpaceX and wish them success in carrying out this phase of the Commercial Crew Program. Through its thirty years of service, the Space Shuttle has enabled NASA to launch and refurbish the Hubble Space Telescope as well as build and resupply the ISS. After the flight of STS-135 in July 2011, the Space Shuttle fleet was formally retired. My hope is that NASA's announcement means America will resume our role of transporting astronauts to the ISS in a safe and reliable manner. This will enable NASA to focus on human exploration beyond low Earth orbit and to work toward achieving the long-term goal of a human mission to Mars. We must continue to dedicate ourselves to our Nation's space program. The next generation of Americans is counting on us."
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