DID YOU KNOW THAT NASA IS KNOW SPENDING 63 MILLION TO SEND ASTONAUTS UP IN SPACE. Private Launches: What's the Big Deal?
Has NASA stopped flying to the space station?
To build new rockets to eventually send people farther into space, NASA has stopped - for now - launching its own spacecraft to the space station. So it's paying Russia $63 million a seat to taxi astronauts to the space station, and hired private companies like SpaceX to make deliveries. SpaceX promises cheaper rides when they start carrying people.
When will these new private spacecraft take astronauts into space?
There are several companies vying for the job, all with different timetables. Many haven't finished building test rockets. SpaceX's mastermind, Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, is aiming to launch a crew by 2015; other firms are targeting 2016 or 2017. A good rule of thumb in the rocket business: Few early flights go even close to schedule.
Will others be able to fly in space or just astronauts?
Private space companies are counting on real people as paying customers in space tourism eventually, but it won't be cheap. Still, experts say commercial space firms are probably the only way everyday people will get to space.
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