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After a "thorough review," NASA awards additional astronaut flights to SpaceX

Added 12-06-21 10:10:03am EST - “"NASA commends Boeing for its ongoing investigation."” - Arstechnica.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Arstechnica.com: “After a “thorough review,” NASA awards additional astronaut flights to SpaceX”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

NASA has announced that it will purchase three additional flights for its astronauts to the International Space Station on SpaceX's Crew Dragon vehicle.

The announcement, posted on the space agency's website late on Friday afternoon, follows a "request for information" issued by NASA in October seeking the additional transportation to keep "uninterrupted" US access to the space station.

The blog post contained the following somewhat stilted rationale for selecting SpaceX to provide these three crewed flights while not selecting the other potential provider, Boeing's Starliner spacecraft.

"After a thorough review of the near-term certified capabilities and responses from American industry, NASA’s assessment is that the SpaceX 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," the agency said.

It's not entirely clear why NASA needed a "thorough" review of the near-term capabilities. SpaceX first demonstrated the safe flight of humans on Crew Dragon in mid-2020 and has since launched three operational crew missions for NASA, with three more scheduled for now through the spring of 2023.

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