NASA focused on commercial space travel

Crossing oceans isn’t enough for you? Well, NASA is working to scratch the most extreme of travel itches. The organization is putting $50 million of economic stimulus cash from the feds into putting the average traveler into space. Companies eager to develop a commercial space vehicle have 45 days to submit their proposals, and the winner will be announced by the end of September.

The program comes at a time when NASA is drastically changing its approach to space. After seven more missions next year, the space shuttle fleet is going to be retired – with the final touch being the completion of the International Space Station. Then, we’ll be outsourcing our space travel to Russia, with U.S. astronauts hitching rides to the space station. Cargo will be shipped to this extraterrestrial spot – 225 miles from Earth – by rockets and capsules being developed by SpaceX and Orbital Sciences.

So, commercial space travel appears to be the key to getting the United States back into the game. Some big names have shown some interest in building the vehicles, including Boeing, Retro Aerospace, Davidson Technologies and Emergent Space technologies.