NASA introduced at the moment that it has formally awarded SpaceX the Crew-7, Crew-8, and Crew-9 missions to the Worldwide Area Station, bringing SpaceX’s complete Industrial Crew Transportation Functionality (CCtCap) contract to $3.49 billion.
The unique $2.6 billion contract was issued to SpaceX in 2014 for the event of American crewed launch capabilities, which had led to 2011 with the retirement of the Area Shuttle. The personal spaceflight firm has delivered, efficiently launching three operational missions, Crew-1 by Crew-3 (plus one crewed take a look at flight), to the ISS through its Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket since 2020.
Previous to the modification, SpaceX was contracted to fly three extra missions to the ISS: Crew-4 and Crew-5 in 2022 and Crew-6 in 2023. With the extension, which is “fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity,” per NASA’s assertion. SpaceX’s interval of efficiency now runs by March 31, 2028 — a pleasant common paycheck for the rising launch and area operations firm.
“It’s essential we start to safe extra flights to the area station now so we’re prepared as these missions are wanted to take care of a U.S. presence on station,” Kathy Lueders, affiliate administrator of NASA’s Area Operations Mission Directorate, stated within the company’s discover of intent to switch SpaceX’s contract, printed in December 2021. “Our U.S. human launch functionality is crucial to our continued secure operations in orbit and to constructing our low-Earth orbit financial system.”
In that discover, NASA acknowledged that SpaceX is the one American firm at the moment licensed to move crew to the ISS. Boeing additionally acquired a six-mission CCtCap contract from NASA in 2014, with a complete worth of $4.2 billion, however its Starliner spacecraft remains to be in its uncrewed testing section. Its subsequent take a look at flight is at the moment scheduled for Might 2022, when it’s going to launch atop an Atlas V rocket to rendezvous with the ISS.
Finally, NASA intends for the SpaceX and Boeing Industrial Crew applications to work in tandem to fly astronauts to the ISS. Between the retirement of the Area Shuttle and SpaceX’s Industrial Crew Program certification, NASA solely relied on Russian area company Roscosmos for transportation to the station. In keeping with a 2019 report by NASA’s Workplace of the Inspector Basic (OIG), NASA paid a median of $55.4 million per seat on Roscosmos’ Soyuz launch system between 2006 and 2020. By the top of that interval, NASA was paying the Russian company a reported $86 million per seat. The identical OIG report estimated SpaceX’s common price per seat to be $55 million and Boeing’s $90 million.