Washington: A new range of "space taxis" are being build that will carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), as NASA has given three firms a total of $1.1 billion to make progress in the same.
The hi-tech spacecraft to be used to transport crew and supplies to the ISS will replace NASA's space shuttle which were decommissioned last year, as per reports.
The three firms are Sierra Nevada, Space X and Boeing, who will receive $212.5 million, $440 million, and $460 million, respectively.
The new deals represent NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Programme, which aims to promote design and development of new private spacecraft to fill the gap left by the decommissioning of the space shuttles.
Boeing and SpaceX are developing space capsules, and Sierra Nevada is developing a winged space plane called "Dream Chaser", which is designed to launch vertically but land horizontally on conventional runways.