NASA will use the "space taxis" to fly U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station, ending the reliance on Russia for trips to the station.
Boeing and SpaceX will split up to $6.8 billion in funding to build the spacecraft, according to Bloomberg. Under the contract, Boeing will earn a maximum of $4.2 billion and SpaceX will earn a maximum of $2.6 billion.
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"We are one step closer to launching our astronauts from U.S. soil on American spacecraft and ending the nation's sole reliance on Russia by 2017," NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said. "Turning over low-Earth orbit transportation to private industry will also allow NASA to focus on an even more ambitious mission -- sending humans to Mars."
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