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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

Launching Astronauts From American Soil

November 21, 2013

NASA is asking commercial partners to develop crew transportation systems. Commercial companies have already proven that they can get supplies to the International Space Station but NASA’s asking them to up their game. But they warn such systems need to be safe and efficient and also cost-effective for American taxpayers. Systems will include rockets, spacecraft, and ground transportation. Commercial companies have already made a lot of progress designing and developing the next generation of US crew transportation systems for low-Earth orbit but NASA says the next phase of development will ensure a strong emphasis on crew safety. They said the request for proposals begins the journey for a new era in US human spaceflight. And the goal is to launch by the end of 2017.

[ Read the Article: New Step Brings NASA Closer To Launching Astronauts Again ]