Yesterday NASA made a big announcement regarding the future of American manned spaceflight. Starting in 2017, NASA will turn to Boeing and SpaceX commercial spacecraft to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station, alleviating our dependency on hitching rides with the Russians to the ISS. It will also free up NASA to develop the next generation of shuttles (expected to debut some time in the 2020s).
Even cooler is the list of destinations NASA wants to send astronauts: an asteroid, beyond the moon’s orbit, LaGrange points in our own planet’s orbit, and to Mars.
NASA’s full press release can be read here