Elon Musk’s SpaceX simply acquired awarded 5 extra missions by NASA to move crew transportation missions to the Worldwide Area Station (ISS), as a part of the company’s Industrial Crew Transportation Functionality (CCtCap) contract.
The brand new settlement, which builds on the prevailing settlement between NASA and SpaceX, is valued at $1.4 billion, bringing the full worth of all of the transport missions as a part of the contract to $4.9 billion. SpaceX’s Dragon capsule will transport as much as 4 astronauts, and Falcon 9 rocket can be utilized for launch, transport, and restoration missions.
This improvement shouldn’t be fully surprising, provided that NASA had knowledgeable in June that it was trying to buy extra missions. At the moment, NASA had supposed to concern a sole supply modification to SpaceX for 5 extra crewed, missions.
That is additionally the newest occasion of NASA giving extensions to the CCtCap contract. Initially awarded to SpaceX in 2014 for $2.6 billion, the house company went on to increase it and supply extra missions earlier this yr. At the moment, the Crew-7, Crew-8 and Crew-9 missions have been awarded for a further $900 million. A CCtCap contract was additionally awarded to Boeing for as much as $4.2 billion for six crewed flights utilizing its Starliner capsule.
That SpaceX enjoys an in depth friendship with NASA is nothing new. In August 2021, the US house company awarded SpaceX with a $2.9 billion lunar contract, which was contested by rival house firm Blue Origin. In response to the contract, SpaceX would ship astronauts to the moon’s floor for NASA’s Artemis program through its Starship rockets.
Bezos’ house firm took NASA to courtroom by submitting a federal lawsuit concerning the matter, however went on to lose in November after a federal decide rejected its try to overturn NASA’s resolution of rewarding SpaceX with the contract.
And now, the newest improvement to switch the contract places $1.4 billion extra in SpaceX’s pockets and additional solidifies its place as one of many main non-public house firms of the world.
The “agency fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract” modification to the contract brings the full variety of missions for SpaceX to 14, and in keeping with an official launch, “permits NASA to keep up an uninterrupted U.S. functionality for human entry to the house station till 2030, with two distinctive industrial crew business companions.”
The extra $1.4 billion for the Crew-10, Crew-11, Crew-12, Crew-13 and Crew-14 flights is not going to be restricted to crew and cargo transportation missions, and can embody floor, launch, in-orbit, and return and restoration operations, together with a lifeboat functionality whereas docked to the ISS.