NASA awards $1 billion in contracts - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

NASA announces plans for new astronaut program

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(CNN) - NASA is making strides in its efforts to resume the launch of astronauts from the United States.

The space exploration organization awarded more than $1 billion in contracts Friday to three commercial rocket and spacecraft developers.

SpaceX, the company that launched the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station, received a portion of the funds.

The partnership is NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

The space agency wants to bridge the gap left by the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program.

Currently, NASA pays millions of dollars to Russia when astronauts ride along on a Soyuz rocket.

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