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USA: Will NASA ditch Soyuz for Dragon II?00:58

USA: Will NASA ditch Soyuz for Dragon II?

United States, Washington DC
June 12, 2014 at 20:30 GMT +00:00 · Published

US launch services company SpaceX is hoping to send crewmembers to the International Space Station aboard its newly engineered Dragon II spacecraft, which was unveiled in Washington D.C., Wednesday.

The Dragon II is designed to deliver crew to the ISS and then bring them back at a fraction of the cost that NASA would have needed for a similar project, the company says. The spacecraft is easily refuelable and landable almost anywhere on Earth. The device, capable of carrying up to seven crewmembers, is due to fly for the first time later this year.

Since NASA shut down its shuttle programme in 2011, Russia's Soyuz has been NASA's only way of sending astronauts to the ISS. SpaceX is competing with other firms to deliver a new spacecraft capable of delivering astronauts to the space station. A Congressional committee will select one of the designs for use by NASA.

SpaceX is contracted to fly at least 12 missions to resupply the International Space Station under a $1.6 billion (€1.18 billion) deal with NASA. Its Dragon I spacecraft is able to deliver the supplies but, in its present form, is not crew-ready.

USA: Will NASA ditch Soyuz for Dragon II?00:58
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Description

US launch services company SpaceX is hoping to send crewmembers to the International Space Station aboard its newly engineered Dragon II spacecraft, which was unveiled in Washington D.C., Wednesday.

The Dragon II is designed to deliver crew to the ISS and then bring them back at a fraction of the cost that NASA would have needed for a similar project, the company says. The spacecraft is easily refuelable and landable almost anywhere on Earth. The device, capable of carrying up to seven crewmembers, is due to fly for the first time later this year.

Since NASA shut down its shuttle programme in 2011, Russia's Soyuz has been NASA's only way of sending astronauts to the ISS. SpaceX is competing with other firms to deliver a new spacecraft capable of delivering astronauts to the space station. A Congressional committee will select one of the designs for use by NASA.

SpaceX is contracted to fly at least 12 missions to resupply the International Space Station under a $1.6 billion (€1.18 billion) deal with NASA. Its Dragon I spacecraft is able to deliver the supplies but, in its present form, is not crew-ready.

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