WASHINGTON — NASA has introduced a group it calls the seven new pioneers of space. They are not astronauts, but private companies.
At a gathering in Washington were representatives of companies that are getting government seed money for commercial space development. The Obama administration is canning its back-to-the-moon plans and wants private industry to build spacecraft to NASA's astronauts.
Some of the players include companies run by Internet pioneers Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Elon Musk of PayPal. Others include Boeing Company of Houston; Paragon Space Development Company of Tucson; Sierra Nevada Corp. of Sparks, Nev.; United Launch Alliance of Denver, and Orbital Science Corp. of Dulles, Va.