Jun 22, 2011 3:26 PM by AP Posted by James H Egbert

Langley Research Center honored for 'space taxi'

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - Officials from a Colorado company are thanking current and former workers at NASA's Langley Research Center for their work developing a type of `space taxi.'

Sierra Nevada Space Systems of Louisville, Colo. has won an $80 million contract to develop the Dream Chaser spacecraft. The spacecraft is intended to shuttle seven astronauts from Earth to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft is needed because the space shuttle program is ending in July. NASA is under presidential direction to shift from orbital flights to expeditions beyond.

Three other companies are also developing their own `space taxis.' NASA wants to begin the flights in about five years.

Sierra Nevada's design is unique because it's based largely on research conducted at Langley over the past 20 years. The company thanked NASA workers Wednesday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



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