On Friday, a Russian Soyuz rocket will send an unmanned cargo ship with more than 3 tons of food, water and fuel for astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Russian Federal Space Agency hide caption

itoggle caption Russian Federal Space Agency

A Proton-M rocket shown in 2013. The same type of rocket malfunctioned in mid-flight on Saturday and crashed over Siberia carrying a Mexican communications satellite. PHOTO ITAR-TASS/ITAR-TASS/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption PHOTO ITAR-TASS/ITAR-TASS/Landov

A Russian launch vehicle carrying the Progress M-27M cargo ship lifts off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday. Fears mounted Wednesday that the unmanned cargo capsule was lost and may plunge back to Earth as ground control failed to gain control of the orbiting ship for a second day in a row. Roscosmos /EPA /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Roscosmos /EPA /Landov

International Space Station Commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore holds up the first object made in space with 3-D printing on Nov. 25. NASA hide caption

itoggle caption NASA

The new capsules are being built by Boeing and SpaceX. They look similar, but there are differences. SpaceX, The Boeing Company hide caption

itoggle caption SpaceX, The Boeing Company

The Two-Way

How NASA's New Spaceships Stack Up

Earlier this week, NASA awarded two contracts for new spaceships to commercial companies. Here's how they compare.

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NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks during a news conference in Berlin on Monday. Bolden said no single country was indispensable to the International Space Station's success. Michael Sohn/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Sohn/AP

From left: U.S. astronaut Steve Swanson, and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev prior to the launch of their Soyuz-FG rocket Wednesday at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Dmitry Lovetsky/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

Russian personnel are the first to meet space station crew members when they return to earth. Bill Ingalls/NASA hide caption

itoggle caption Bill Ingalls/NASA