SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket could play role in privatized space missions

03/8/2010 | Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

An 18-story rocket that could blast off as early as next month from Cape Canaveral, Fla., could represent the fate of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX's, efforts to take over NASA's responsibilities in transporting astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station. NASA has invested more than $200 million in seed money for the Falcon 9 booster, and a contract for 12 flights to transport cargo in coming years is worth additional $1.6 billion as the company vies for a role under President Barack Obama's proposal to outsource space travel to private aerospace companies.

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