Boeing, SpaceX capsules will beat Russia on price for US astronaut rides to space station

IndustriesAssociated Press

NASA expects to save millions of dollars in launch costs, once its commercial crew program starts flying in a couple of years.

SpaceX and Boeing said Monday that they are on track to carry out their first manned test flights to the International Space Station in 2017. NASA chose the two companies last September to transport American astronauts to and from the orbiting lab.

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NASA's commercial crew program manager, Kathy Lueders, says the average price for a seat aboard the SpaceX Dragon and Boeing CST-100 capsules will be $58 million. That compares with $71 million a seat charged by Russia under its latest NASA contract.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told astronauts gathered at Johnson Space Center in Houston that he's tired of writing checks to the Russian space agency.