NASA screens new vehicle to send astronauts into space
NASA, which spends nearly $71 million for each one-way trip for astronauts to space using the Russian Space Shuttle, is planning for NextGen spacecraft that suits its needs.
The first on its radar is Dragon V2 by startup firm SpaceX.
Dragon V2 has been used to send cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) but it has now been upgraded to land on solid ground with the use of thrusters, as well as the capability to bring humans.
Another spacecraft is Boeing's CST-100. It is a pyramid-shaped capsule that would be launched to space atop a rocket.
Initially, this would be the Atlas V rocket developed by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
The third space vehicle on the screening list is Dream Chaser by Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace electronics company.
This vehicle differs greatly from the first two as it is shaped as a sort of space-plane, media reports said.
NASA is expected to take a final call on which of these spacecraft to be used by next month.
(Posted on 25-08-2014)