NASA clears SpaceX test flight to International Space Station

  • World
  • Saturday, 23 Feb 2019

FILE PHOTO: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Israel's first spacecraft designed to land on the moon lifts off on the first privately-funded lunar mission at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Thom Baur

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - NASA gave its final go-ahead on Friday to billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX company to conduct its first unmanned test flight of a newly designed crew capsule to the International Space Station on March 2.

NASA has awarded SpaceX $2.6 billion (£2 billion) and Boeing Co $4.2 billion to build rocket and capsule launch systems to return astronauts to the orbiting research laboratory from U.S. soil for the first time since America's space shuttle program ended in 2011.

(Reporting by Joey Roulette in Cape Canaveral; Editing by Steve Gorman and Chris Reese)

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