NASA has ordered a second mission from SpaceX to take astronauts to the International Space Station.
The Hawthorne space company received its first order from NASA in November. Both SpaceX and Boeing Co. now each have two orders from the space agency to ferry as many as four crew members and about 220 pounds of cargo at a time to the space station.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft will launch on one of the firm’s Falcon 9 rockets from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX has said its first manned test flight to the space station will be in 2017.
NASA said in a statement that SpaceX qualified for a second mission after it hit developmental milestones and internal design reviews for its equipment and launch site.
“We’re making great progress with Crew Dragon,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement. “We appreciate the trust NASA has placed in SpaceX with the order of another crew mission and look forward to flying astronauts from American soil next year.”
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