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Report: NASA to Award Space Transportation Contract by Early September

International-Space-StationNASA will award a contract or contracts to develop space vehicles for transporting U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the end of August or in early September, National Journal reported Tuesday.

Marina Koren reports that the future commercial spacecraft would end U.S. dependence on Russia’s Soyuz capsules to transport each astronaut for $70.7 million.

The three finalists will hold test launches over the next two years as NASA intends to use the winning design beginning 2017, the report said.

NASA will decide between Boeing‘s CST-100 capsule, Sierra Nevada‘s Dream Chaser and SpaceX‘s Dragon vehicle for the contract.

NASA started the commercial crew program after the shutdown of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.

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