BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -

NASA's highly anticipated announcement about the winners of its next awards for development of commercial crew spacecraft is planned for 9 a.m. Friday, the agency said this afternoon, Local 6 News Partner Florida Today reported. 

Kennedy Space Center, home of the Commercial Crew Program, will host a press conference at 10 a.m. featuring NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana and Commercial Crew Program Manager Ed Mango.

The agency is expected to name up to three companies it will provide up to $500 million in funding through the Spring of 2014.

ATK, The Boeing Co., Sierra Nevada Corp. and SpaceX are considered the finalists.

One or more of those firms could win NASA contracts to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017.