Private firms trying to slash NASA’s dependence on Russia

Multiple American private space firms are trying to helping government-run space agency NASA to get rid of its expensive dependence on Russia.

Since the end of NASA’s space shuttle program in 2011, the federal agency has been paying hundreds of millions of dollars to Russian space agency Roscosmos for transporting its astronauts to the ISS.

But, that could change soon as private-sector space firms like SpaceX, United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Blue Origin are innovating and introducing new technologies min the field.

Brendan Curry, the Space Foundation’s vice president for Washington operations, told the U.S. Congress, “As Americans we don't like to be relying on anybody else for anything.”

Through their flourishing resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS), Elon Musk-led SpaceX and ULA have already proved that private firms can assist NASA’s space program. ULA is a joint venture (JV) of defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

SpaceX recently announced its plan to send two paying civilians around the Moon and beyond and then brought them back to Earth. If successful, it would be the farthest distance any human to fly from Earth.