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The engines of the Dragon V2 spacecraft are pictured after it was unveiled in Hawthorne

The engines of the Dragon V2 spacecraft are pictured after it was unveiled in Hawthorne, California May 29, 2014. Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, on Thursday unveiled an upgraded passenger version of the Dragon cargo ship NASA buys for resupply runs to the International Space Station. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS TRANSPORT SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY)

SpaceX Dragon V2 Spaceship

NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil.

On Tuesday, the space agency announced it has picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden named the winners of the competition at Kennedy Space Center, next door to where the launches should occur in a few years.

The deal will end NASA's expensive reliance on Russia to ferry astronauts to the space station. NASA has set a goal of 2017 for the first launch under the program. (AP)



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