President Barack Obama is reviving the NASA crew capsule concept that he had canceled with the rest of the moon program earlier this year.
Officials say instead of going to the moon, the new capsule will head to the International Space Station.
Administration officials also say NASA will speed up development of a massive rocket. It would have the power to blast crew and cargo far from Earth, although no destination has been chosen yet. The rocket would be ready to launch several years earlier than under the old moon plan.
The two moves are being announced before a Thursday visit to Cape Canaveral, Fla., by Obama. They are designed to counter criticism of the Obama administration's space plans as being low on detail, physical hardware, and local jobs.