Deal Expansion – NASA Asks SpaceX to Deliver 5 More Astronaut Missions

As anticipated, NASA has awarded SpaceX a new $1.44 billion contract for 5 additional astronaut missions, bringing the total number of Crew Dragon launches to 14. It is aimed at ensuring a regular supply of crew members to the International Space Station (ISS), while SpaceX competitor Boeing struggles to deploy its own Starliner crew system.

In a press release, the space agency said,

The latest award allows NASA to maintain an uninterrupted U.S. capability for human access to the space station until 2030, with two unique commercial crew industry partners.

Deal Expansion – NASA Asks SpaceX to Deliver 5 More Astronaut Missions

In November 2020, SpaceX was authorized for crew transportation, and their Crew-4 mission was launched on April 27, 2022. NASA said earlier this year that it will purchase three extra missions for a total of $900 million, increasing its initial $2.6 billion deal to $3.49 billion. And now it takes SpaceX’s overall contract for Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) to $4.93 billion

All of this is because of Boeing’s struggle to keep up with the demand, since their Starliner capsule, which is compatible with ULA’s Atlas V and other rockets, has had many delays. The most recent unmanned test flight took place on the 19th of May of this year, six days after a lengthy delay caused by valve problems. The first crewed flight was initially scheduled for 2017 but has yet to take off. Boeing and NASA are now aiming for the start of 2023 for the first astronaut-carrying flight.

Check out? Blue Origin offers the amount of $2 Billion to NASA, here’s why

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