Boeing aims to send its crew capsule to space with a NASA astronaut and a Boeing test pilot for a first manned test flight in July 2017.
The agency awarded a $4.2 billion contract to Boeing and $2.6 billion to SpaceX in September 2014 for cargo and human transportation services to the International Space Station.
“This work is part of a vital strategy to equip our nation with the technologies for the future and inspire a new generation of explorers to take the next giant leap for America,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
Boeing and SpaceX intend to use facilities at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to process and launch their CST-100 and Dragon space vehicles by 2017.
NASA says it will assess each of the contractor’s spacecraft development progress and work to ensure systems will meet safety requirements.