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NASA said Friday it has awarded billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to build a spacecraft to bring astronauts to the moon as early as 2024, picking it over Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics Inc.

The bid by Tesla Inc. chief Musk beat one from Amazon.com Inc’s founder Jeff Bezos, who had partnered with Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Draper. Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

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