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Originally From here!
"It's of great interest and importance," said Doug Stanley of the National Institute of Aerospace at Georgia Tech, who led NASA's efforts to design its moon and Mars program. "It costs a lot of money to build one of these so you don't get to build them very often."
Last week, one of the two competing teams pulled a black cloth off its scale model to unveil its vision of an Apollo-like space capsule. That team, of Northrop Grumman and Boeing, is competing against Lockheed Martin in a race with high stakes for both companies. The contract will provide decades of steady NASA work.
"It's important to each of them because of the shrink-down of the aerospace industry," said Charles Vick, senior fellow in space and defense policy at the policy analysis group GlobalSecurity.org. "It's long-term employment, long-term funding."
NASA will issue its final instructions to the competitors at the end of this month, spokesman J.D. Harrington said. The space agency wants to go back to a capsule system similar to the one under the Apollo program that first took astronauts to the moon.