SpaceX wins $1.4bn NASA contract for five astronaut launches

SpaceX wins $1.4bn NASA contract for five astronaut launches

The contract modification includes ground, launch, in-orbit, and return and recovery operations, cargo transportation for each mission, and a lifeboat capability while docked to the ISS.

NASA has awarded SpaceX a contract worth $1.4bn for five more astronaut missions to the International Space Station.

The award of the five missions, designated Crew-10 through Crew-14, came after NASA announced its plans in a procurement notice on June 1 to add the missions to SpaceX’s existing Commercial Crew Transportation Capabilities (CCtCap) contract.

The CCtCap modification brings the total missions for SpaceX to 14 and allows NASA to maintain an uninterrupted US capability for human access to the space station until 2030, with two commercial crew industry partners.

This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract modification for the Crew-10, Crew-11, Crew-12, Crew-13, and Crew-14 flights. The amount includes ground, launch, in-orbit, and return and recovery operations, cargo transportation for each mission, and a lifeboat capability while docked at the International Space Station. The period of performance runs through 2030 and brings the total CCtCap contract value with SpaceX to $4.9bn.

The current sole source modification does not preclude NASA from seeking future contract modifications for additional transportation services, as needed.

In 2014, NASA awarded the CCtCap contracts to Boeing and SpaceX through a public-private partnership as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Programme. Under CCtCap, NASA certifies that a provider’s space transportation system meets the agency’s requirements prior to flying missions with astronauts.

SpaceX was certified by NASA for crew transportation in November 2020. The company’s fourth crew rotation mission for the agency, the Crew-4 mission, is currently in orbit aboard the space station. As part of the missions, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket transport up to four astronauts, along with critical cargo, to the space station.

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