MAR 02, 2016 09:49 AM PST

SpaceX Signs New Contract With NASA for 5 More Space Missions

SpaceX reportedly signed a $700 million contract with NASA in December of 2015 to ship cargo to the International Space Station a total of five times in the near future.
 

SpaceX has signed another contract with NASA for 5 future space missions.


This isn’t the first time that SpaceX has obtained a contract through NASA – there was also a time in 2008 when the company scored a contract and agreed to produce equipment for taking supplies to space.
 
Most of the details of the contracts are confidential, so there’s little known about what SpaceX will be taking to space, but the signing does show that NASA has the intent to use SpaceX for future space objectives.
 
"We order resupply flights from our commercial providers via the contract modification process based on the mission needs to resupply the international space station," said Cheryl M. Warner, NASA spokeswoman.
 
Despite both successes and failures, SpaceX remains one of the most reliable American commercial space companies that can provide the technology NASA needs to get its supplies into space.
 
Another American commercial space company, Orbital ATK, also helps to provide NASA with space delivery services, although NASA seems to tap into SpaceX a lot more.
 
Getting American commercial space companies to provide NASA with the resources it needs would make the United States a lot less dependent on Russia and their Soyuz spacecraft for getting astronauts to and from space, and that’s eventually one of the goals for NASA in the long term.
 
SpaceX has been experimenting a lot with reusable rocket technology as of late, and their latest Falcon 9 rocket is equipped to land after finishing its primary mission. Although the Falcon 9 was able to land beautifully on solid ground one time, all other recent attempts to land the rocket on a drone ship at sea have been much less successful.
 
Reusable rockets, if they can be perfected, will be perfect for NASA and their shipment needs, because they are significantly less expensive. Rather than paying $16,000,000 every time a new rocket needs to be used, SpaceX could just use the same rocket over again, but re-fuel it for the minimal cost of $200,000.
 
Combined with NASA’s recently-enlarged budget, this may mean more potential for space missions in coming years, which is perfect for the company’s growing interest in deep space missions, like sending human beings to Mars in the next few decades.
 
Source: Space News

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 15, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 15, 2018
Are Ion-Powered Rockets the Way of the Future for Space Exploration?
While chemical burn rockets are the industry standard for launching spacecraft beyond Earth’s atmosphere, the bigger question concerns how we should...
AUG 22, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 22, 2018
NASA's InSight Spacecraft is Halfway to Mars, and Everything is Working
Just this week, NASA announced a significant milestone regarding the space agency’s InSight mission. The spacecraft, which launched from California&r...
AUG 27, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 27, 2018
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope Celebrates 15 Years in Space
NASA engineers originally designed the Spitzer Space Telescope to observe the heavens for approximately 2.5 years. But 15 years later, the space observator...
SEP 25, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 25, 2018
Japan Put Two Landers On An Asteroid for Science
Japanese space agency JAXA recently made history after its Hayabusa 2 mission approached the asteroid 162173 Ryugu and dumped off two landers to study the ...
OCT 01, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 01, 2018
Getting to Alpha Centauri Won't Be Easy, But...
Alpha Centauri is one of our closest stellar neighbors at just 4.22 light years away, and astronomers think there’s an exoplanet orbiting the host st...
OCT 29, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 29, 2018
NASA's Parker Solar Probe Shatters Record for Closest Spacecraft to the Sun
NASA’s Sun-bound Solar Parker Probe has been sailing through outer space for just over two months, and it’s already breaking previously-set rec...
Loading Comments...