With Obama and Congress still unsure about how NASA should proceed with its manned space program, NASA continues with privately funded companies as a way to transport cargo and astronauts back and forth into space. As of April 2010, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is preparing for its maiden launch from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 30.
NASA announced on October 3, 2011, that in early November it will begin the process to find new astronauts to support its Expedition missions to the International Space Station and future missions to the inner solar system. This latest group of astronauts will be NASA Group 21.
According to an announcement made by Lori Garver, NASA’s deputy administrator, on Tuesday, April 13, 2010, President Barack Obama has decided to use the Orion space capsule, one part of the now defunct Constellation Program, as an on-board emergency escape system for the International Space Station.
NASA has signed an agreement with Alliant Techsystems (ATK) to develop the Liberty Launch System as part of the NASA’s plans to help commercial (private) companies provide ferry services to and from low-Earth orbit, such as the International Space Station.