Teams headed by the Boeing Co., SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corp. will be receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from NASA over the next 21 months for further development of spaceships capable of transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station, knowledgeable sources told NBC News today.
NASA is to make the official announcement of the winning commercial teams on Friday morning — but NBC News' Cape Canaveral correspondent, Jay Barbree, received word from two sources who were informed of the decision in advance, on condition of anonymity. The sources did not discuss how much money any of the companies would be receiving.
Other companies sought unsuccessfully to win CCiCap funding — most prominently, a consortium that included ATK, Lockheed Martin and Astrium. The consortium's Liberty launch system would adapt the ATK-manufactured solid rocket booster that was used for the space shuttle and the now-canceled Ares 1 rocket. The second stage would be based on Astrium's Ariane rocket. The composite capsule would be provided by Lockheed Martin, which is the prime contractor for NASA's more capable Orion deep-space capsule.
The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, quoted industry sources as saying that Boeing and SpaceX were expected to share the bulk of NASA's CCiCap money, and that Sierra Nevada seemed likely to emerge with a smaller award.