NASA just placed another order with SpaceX.
The agency said Wednesday that it has ordered six additional resupply missions from the company under its Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contract. NASA has also ordered six more missions with aerospace chief Northrop Grumman, another major supplier of resupply to the ISS.
NASA awarded resupply contracts to both SpaceX and Northrop in 2016 through 2024. Sierra Nevada Corporation was the selected third supplier. CRS-2 guarantees a minimum of six missions per carrier, with the option for NASA to order additional missions as needed. The agency says the maximum potential value of all three contracts is $14 billion, although the final cost to NASA will depend on the number of orders.
This order brings the total number of missions in CRS-2 to 32, with 14 missions to Northrop, 15 missions to SpaceX, and three missions to Sierra.
By now, SpaceX is very familiar with these flights. The company completed 20 supply assignments under its previous CRS contract, CRS-1. According to NASA’s inspector generalthe total payment to SpaceX for those missions is $3.04 billion, or about $152 million per mission.
SpaceX uses its cargo Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to deliver supplies to the ISS and has done so since its first resupply mission to the station in 2012. After leaving Earth , Dragon meets the ISS and automatically docks at the station. .
SpaceX also offers crewed missions to the ISS with its Crew Dragon capsule.