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NASA selects SpaceX to return Americans to space

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Illustration of Dragon Crew Spacecraft in Orbit. Photo: SpaceX.

HAWTHORNE, CALIFORNIA (BNS): Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has won a $440 million contract with NASA to develop the successor to the Space Shuttle and transport American astronauts into space.

SpaceX expects to undertake its first manned flight by 2015 - a timetable that capitalizes on the proven success of the company's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft combination.

While Dragon is initially being used to transport cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), both Dragon and Falcon 9 were designed from the beginning to carry crew.

"This is a decisive milestone in human spaceflight and sets an exciting course for the next phase of American space exploration," said SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk.

"SpaceX, along with our partners at NASA, will continue to push the boundaries of space technology to develop the safest, most advanced crew vehicle ever flown," he said.

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NASA  SpaceX  Dragon  
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