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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

New Private Spacecraft Will Be 1st US Space Lifeboat in 40 Years

•, By Raphael Rosen
NASA officials hope to find the next astronaut lifeboat — the first American one in 40 years — through the agency's Commercial Crew Program. The space agency is partnering with private companies to find better ways to explore space from American soil. Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corp. and SpaceX are all currently developing new spacecraft that could bring NASA astronauts into orbit and keep them safe if disaster strikes the space station.

The commercial spacecraft will have to meet two especially important criteria: They will have to be able to shelter astronauts in case of an emergency, and they will have to be able to detach and return to Earth quickly.

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