NASA’s shutdown of the shuttle program has made the Russian rocket the only way to reach the International Space Station. Consortiums like SpaceX and Boaing had to change that, but it turned out that it would have to wait a bit longer.
Boeing engineers are currently working on the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to bring supplies and astronauts to the ISS, but technical issues have made the vehicle much more available than expected. Initially planned to finish it next year, but Boeing representatives have just stated that it will not be able to do it earlier than next year.
This means that NASA’s only hope of becoming independent from the Russians is SpaceX, a consortium owned by Elon Musk, who works on Dragon’s manned capsule. If it can keep up with the completion date of the vehicles, the company will make a good start, as it will be the only US company capable of manned orbiter flights.