SpaceX makes $1.4 billion deal with NASA for 5 more missions


SpaceX will carry out five more astronaut missions to the International Space Station for NASA by the end of the decade under a $1.4 billion contract, the US space agency said on Thursday, the US space agency said. Wednesday, bringing the company’s total number of contracted missions for the Crew Dragon capsule to 14.

The latest push to SpaceX’s NASA contract is part of the agency’s efforts to ensure astronaut flights to the space station are stable because Boeing BA.N, another company with a contract to transport astronauts to the space station. similar crew transfer, was struggling to complete development of his Starliner space capsule.

The award “enables NASA to maintain continued human access to the U.S. space station through 2030, with the only two commercial partners in the crew industry,” the agency said in a statement. An announcement.

SpaceX and Boeing each won a multibillion-dollar contract with NASA in 2014 to develop, test, and regularly fly space capsule systems capable of carrying astronauts to and from the space station. , an orbital research laboratory that has housed astronauts internationally for more than two decades.

SpaceX’s reusable Crew Dragon capsule has carried out five crewed missions for NASA since it was issued a crew certificate in 2020, when it became the first private company to launch humans. into orbit and revived NASA’s human spacecraft program following the shutdown of the US space shuttle program in 2011.

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule, suffering from software glitches and valve malfunctions, aims to fly its first astronauts next February, seeking to pass a final test mission before NASA can prove it. receive spacecraft for routine spaceflight flights.

NASA initially gave each company six crewed missions, but ordered three more from SpaceX in early 2022 amid Boeing’s technical difficulties.

(Reporting by Joey Roulette; editing by Richard Pullin)

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