We live in interesting times! Today marks the first time in history a commercial company has placed a capsule in orbit and safely returned it to Earth. This has been accomplished by only five world governments.
Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Program:
Instead of flying payloads to the International Space Station on government operated vehicles, NASA is spending hundreds of millions (less than the cost of a single Space Shuttle flight) to finance the demonstration of orbital transportation services from commercial providers. Unlike any previous NASA project, the proposed spacecraft are intended to be owned and financed primarily by the companies themselves and will be designed to serve both U.S. government agencies and commercial customers.
At present NASA will contract foreign governments (primarily Russia) for missions.