Washington, D.C. – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the following statement today after NASA announced awardees for the final phase of its Commercial Crew program.

Chairman Smith: “I congratulate Boeing and SpaceX on their achievements in the Commercial Crew Program. Both companies and the thousands of people they employ have a crucial task before them as they work to further U.S. space exploration. They also have a responsibility to the U.S. taxpayers who are making considerable contributions to the development of these commercial space capabilities.

“As Chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I look forward to the time when we once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil. The days of paying Russians $70 million per astronaut for access to the International Space Station must come to an end as soon as possible. I look forward to working with these companies and NASA, to end our reliance on foreign carriers by ensuring safe, reliable, timely, and cost effective transportation to the International Space Station. This is a good day for our nation's space program and for all Americans.”

The Commercial Crew program represents one of the first NASA partnerships using taxpayer dollars to fund commercial space development. By the time the next phase begins, taxpayers will have provided approximately $1.5 billion to develop these capabilities, and more may be required for future service contracts.