NASA is getting reading to award lucrative new contracts to both space cargo transport startup SpaceX and aerospace company Boeing, according to a report by NBC News.
The contract was for NASA’s commercial crew program, which involves building a new space shuttle and transporting a crew to space. The world is one small step closer to making Futurama’s Planet Express business into a reality, minus the alcoholic robot and the one-eyed, purple-haired captain.
Both SpaceX and Boeing are apparently staying quiet about nabbing the funding, since NASA hasn’t made an official announcement.
As part of the contract, Sierra Nevada Corp. (not the one that makes delicious beer) is on hand to deliver in the event that either Boeing or SpaceX fall through. That means Jeff Bezos’ space startup Blue Origin will not be a part of NASA’s commercial space program.
With the new funding, the contracted companies said they could make their spacecraft mission-ready by 2015, according to the report.
Update: NASA officially confirmed the contracts in a press release this morning. Per terms of the contract, Sierra Nevada Corporation will get $212.5 million , while SpaceX will take $440 million and Boeing with $460 million.