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Rohrabacher: NASA Contracts Advance Commercial Space Travel

Sep 17, 2014

WASHINGTON – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on Tuesday congratulated SpaceX and Boeing on being awarded NASA contracts to launch U.S. crews to the International Space Station and return them safely to Earth.

Both firms have a significant presence in Southern California, and were enabled to bid for the fixed-price contracts by Rohrabacher’s Commercial Space Launch Amendment Act of 2004. Rohrabacher has been the lead voice in Congress to encourage private ventures into space for the past 20 years.

“These contracts,” said Rohrabacher, “not only will end our reliance on Russia for space transportation, but they also return America to space leadership in a major way. You might even call this one giant leap for commercial space transportation.  NASA will continue to rely on the Russian Soyuz into 2017, at which time our private-sector partners will be ready for lift-off.”

The awards call for at least one crewed test flight per company, each with a NASA astronaut on board to verify the crafts’ necessary functions. SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, CA, will use its Crew Dragon spacecraft atop its Falcon 9 launch vehicle, while Houston-based Boeing will use its CST-100 and Atlas V rocket.

Together, the contracts allow for up to $6.8 billion for a total of fourteen launches.