SpaceX gets $1.4Bn contract to launch 5 more NASA astronaut flights

By Ayushi Garg  | Date: September 01, 2022

SpaceX gets $1.4Bn contract to launch 5 more NASA astronaut flights

American spacecraft manufacturer, SpaceX has reportedly signed a contract with NASA to provide five more personnel transportation trips to and from the International Space Station, solidifying its status as the space agency’s top services provider.

The new deal, worth $1.4 billion, covers the Crew-10, Crew-11, Crew-12, Crew-13, and Crew-14 missions. The CCtCap (Commercial Crew Transportation Capability) program’s overall contract value for all 14 transportation missions now stands at $4.9 billion.

The money covers all return and recovery activities as well as the utilization of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which can carry up to four people. In June, NASA made clear that it will be ordering further missions.

The agency’s Commercial Crew Initiative oversees the CCtCap program. This project consists of a number of public-private collaborations aimed at enhancing domestic launch capabilities. NASA originally issued SpaceX the $2.6 billion contract in 2014.

The space agency also granted Boeing a CCtCap contract for up to $4.2 billion for six trips with its Starliner spacecraft, despite the fact that this capsule has been plagued by technical problems and has not yet successfully completed a crewed mission. Boeing and NASA announced late last week that the first crewed Starliner flight will take place in early 2023.

The ultimate objective is to provide astronaut transportation services using both Crew Dragon and Starliner. NASA formerly employed the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for crew transfer. The space agency started paying an average of $79.7 million per seat after 2017 according to a study released earlier in 2019 by NASA’s Office of Inspector General.

According to a notice released in June, NASA requested the extra flights in part because of Boeing’s technical and scheduling issues and NASA’s estimations of when alternate crew transportation systems would be ready.

The space agency also emphasized the need for redundant astronaut transportation capabilities to guarantee that the ISS is continually manned until its end of service in 2030.

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Ayushi Garg

Ayushi Garg

Currently working as an associate content writer, Ayushi pens down insightful articles for several websites. She began her profession by taking classes in digital marketing to broaden her skills. Given her passion for writing, she took up several freelancing projects ...

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