HOUSTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. companies should gear up for a return to the business of making spacecraft, NASA said.
"By investing in American companies and American ingenuity, we're spurring free-market competition to give taxpayers more bang for the buck," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, while announcing $1.1 billion in new NASA contracts for Boeing Co., Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Sierra Nevada Corp, which is developing a shuttle-like space plane, only smaller.
NASA awarded Boeing a $460 million contract, while Space Exploration Technologies was granted $440 million in new business, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sierra Nevada was granted $212.5 million in new business.
"We're also making important progress toward ending the outsourcing of American aerospace jobs and bringing them right back to Florida and other states all across this country," Bolden said.
Currently, sending an American into space means paying a $63 million fare to send the astronaut up in a Russian Soyuz rocket, as the space shuttle fleet has been retired.