SpaceX and Boeing Co. may share duties in a program aimed at launching NASA astronauts from American soil by 2017.

NASA is expected to announce details about the $3 billion project at 4 p.m. ET today. SpaceX and the Boeing Co. have been competing for the contract.. reported today that the two companies will share the work.

The Wall Street Journal earlier today said Boeing was expected to win the contract.

Since the U.S. retired its fleet of space shuttles in 2011, NASA has been dependent on Russia to ferry its astronauts back and forth to the International Space Station.

That arrangement has become more complicated given the increased tensions between the two countries after Russia moved to annex part of Ukraine.

NASA executives hope to have the spacecraft and launching capabilities to send humans into orbit by 2017.

SpaceX, one of two private companies ferrying supplies, food and scientific experiments to the space shuttle, wants to be the company ferrying astronauts as well.

The commercial space company, which aims to populate Mars one day, has a specific job close at hand already ready to go. SpaceX is scheduled to launch a resupply mission to the space station on Sept. 20 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Along with cargo of food and equipment, the spacecraft also will carry what's been dubbed the ISS-RapidScat instrument.