NASA deal potentially worth $3.1 billion
SpaceX, a start-up founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, has just beaten Lockheed Martin and Boeing and gotten a juicy NASA contract. It’s amazing to think that it only took a few years to bring competition to the bloated and bureaucratic space sector. We can now expect prices to go down and innovation to go up.
HAWTHORNE, CA – December 23, 2008 – NASA today announced its selection of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft for the International Space Station (ISS) Cargo Resupply Services (CRS) contract award. The contract is for a guaranteed minimum of 20,000 kg to be carried to the International Space Station. The firm contracted value is $1.6 billion and NASA may elect to order additional missions for a cumulative total contract value of up to $3.1 billion. […]
Under the CRS contract, SpaceX will deliver pressurized and unpressurized cargo to the ISS, and return cargo back to Earth. Cargo may include both NASA and NASA-sponsored payloads requiring a pressurized or unpressurized environment. SpaceX will provide the necessary services, test hardware and software, and mission-specific elements to integrate cargo with the Dragon delivery capsule.
Another company worth keeping an eye on is Bigelow Aerospace. They’re working on expandable space stations, and if they’re successful they will drive down the construction and maintenance costs of space structures. For a $100 billion, we should be able to get more than the ISS…
Update: Irene Klotz at Discovery asks Elon Musk about the NASA contract.
Update 2: Check out these photos of Falcon 9 being assembled.
Update 3: Falcon 9 is now fully assembled.
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Source: SpaceX Press Release
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