$6.8 billion to build competing rocket and capsule systems

An unmanned SpaceX capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on March 8, 2019, successfully completing a mission critical for the resumption of human space flight from the US soil later this year. A SpaceX rocket launched the 16-foot-tall (4.9-meter) capsule from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After the six-day mission to the International Space Station, the capsule splashed-down about 200 miles off the Florida coast.

NASA has awarded SpaceX and Boeing Co a total of $6.8 billion to build competing rocket and capsule systems to launch astronauts into orbit from American soil. The launch systems are aimed at ending reliance on Russian Soyuz rockets for $80 million-per-seat rides to the orbital research laboratory.