NASA says SpaceX is currently its only option for shuttling astronauts

As Boeing struggles to perfect its Starliner craft, NASA has extended its contract for crewed spaceflights to the ISS with SpaceX.

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NASA recently extended its existing contract with SpaceX to include additional missions to send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA says SpaceX is currently its only option for shuttling astronauts 01

SpaceX already has six crewed flights to the ISS using its Crew Dragon system planned as part of its contract with NASA. Now up to three more flights have been added to the contract. NASA solicited other companies before extending SpaceX's contract, but none met NASA's requirements.

"SpaceX's crew transportation system is the only one certified to meet NASA's safety requirements to transport crew to the space station, and to maintain the agency's obligation to its international partners in the needed timeframe," said NASA in a statement on December 3rd.

Previously, NASA sent astronauts aboard its space shuttle but retired it in 2011 after 30 years of service. Since then, NASA has helped private companies to develop their solutions, eventually awarding SpaceX and Boeing contracts in 2014 as part of its Commercial Crew Transportation Capabilities (CCtCap) contract.

NASA astronauts were shuttled to the ISS aboard Russian Soyuz capsules while SpaceX and Boeing developed their spacecraft to carry astronauts. In 2020, SpaceX successfully sent astronauts to the ISS aboard its Crew Dragon, but Boeing has yet to operationalize its Starliner spacecraft. With SpaceX continuing to take astronauts to the ISS, NASA can work with Boeing to finalize Starliner, ultimately planning to alternate with Crew Dragon for crewed flights to the ISS once complete.


Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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