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Right now, we’re in a space launch gap. It’s been nearly four years since Americans were launched into space on an American rocket from American soil. But the gap ends soon: NASA has ordered the first launch of astronauts to the International Space Station from Boeing. The launch date isn’t set, but is likely to be in 2017.
Boeing still needs to run some tests on its CST-100 vehicle, but it’s in a virtual dead heat with SpaceX on who will be the first company to put Americans back in space.
I’m glad to see both companies moving briskly along in this endeavor. It’ll be nice to see astronauts going to space on a rocket with the Stars and Stripes on the side.