SpaceX’s $1.4 billion Contract with NASA Includes Five Additional Manned Missions

SpaceX’s $1.4 billion Contract with NASA Includes Five Additional Manned Missions

SpaceX to launch five more astronaut missions to NASA’s International Space Station by the end of the decade.

Washington: SpaceX will launch five astronaut missions to NASA’s International Space Station by the end of the century under a contract order worth $1.4 billion, the space agency said Wednesday, bringing the total number of missions under contract for the company’s Crew Dragon astronaut capsule to 14.

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The latest boost to NASA’s SpaceX contract is part of the agency’s efforts to ensure astronauts continue to travel to the space station, as Boeing Co., another company with a similar crewed transportation contract, works to complete the development of the Starliner capsule.

The agency said in a statement that the award “enables NASA to maintain the United States’ ability to continue human access to the space station through 2030, with two unique commercial partners in the crew industry.”

SpaceX and Boeing each won multibillion-dollar NASA contracts in 2014 to develop, test, and routinely fly capsule systems capable of carrying astronauts to and from the space station, an orbital research laboratory for more than two decades. to serve international astronauts.

SpaceX’s reusable Crew Dragon capsule has completed five crewed missions for NASA since it launched in 2020 when it became the first private company to put humans into orbit and was part of the U.S. space shuttle program in 2011. NASA’s human spaceflight program resumed after retirement.

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner capsule, which has suffered from software glitches and a malfunctioning valve, is scheduled to ship its first astronauts in February, hoping to pass a final test mission before NASA certifies the spacecraft for regular astronaut flight.

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NASA initially awarded six crewed missions to each company, but due to technical issues with Boeing, another three were ordered from SpaceX in early 2022.

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