AUG 02, 2016 10:46 AM PDT

NASA Orders a Second Crew Dragon Mission From SpaceX for the ISS

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA wants to bring some of its space launches back to American soil so that it’s not always depending on other nations to resupply the International Space Station and future space missions with cold, hard supplies and astronauts to use them. As a result, it’s working with two major commercial space companies: Boeing and SpaceX.
 
NASA already has contracts with Boeing to send astronauts into space two times, and SpaceX had a contact to do it once, but NASA appears to have reached out to SpaceX for a second time to order another space launch, giving Boeing and SpaceX equal share in the commercial space flight opportunities ahead in the future of space exploration.
 

An artist's impression of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft docking with the International Space Station.

 Image Credit: SpaceX/NASA

"The order of a second crew rotation mission from SpaceX, paired with the two ordered from Boeing will help ensure reliable access to the station on American spacecraft and rockets," said Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program in a statement. "These systems will ensure reliable U.S. crew rotation services to the station, and will serve as a lifeboat for the space station for up to seven months."
 
NASA explains in the statement that this is the “fourth and final guaranteed order“ that NASA will place. This is because the contracts detailed that each company would produce the equipment necessary to withstand a minimum of two missions each, but a maximum of six. It’s up to NASA to order more than the two that have been ordered already.
 
Boeing and SpaceX have both already begun manufacturing the equipment that will be necessary to make these missions a reality. The initial orders from NASA for both companies were placed last year.
 
With the spotlight now on SpaceX following the second mission order, SpaceX is currently manufacturing four of its Crew Dragon spacecraft that will deliver astronauts into space. Two of them are for testing, while the other two are for the official missions, which may occur as soon as next year.

These spacecraft will have enough room to seat four astronauts, and carry 220 pounds of luggage. After being sent to the International Space Station, it can then dock there for at least 210 days, serving as an emergency escape craft if needed.
 
Soon, NASA will send a seventh crew member to the International Space Station using these commercial spacecraft.
 
“With the commercial crew vehicles from Boeing and SpaceX, we will soon add a seventh crew member to space station missions, which will significantly increase the amount of crew time to conduct research,” said Julie Robinson, NASA’s International Space Station chief scientist. “Given the number of investigations waiting for the crew to be able to complete their research, having more crew members will enable NASA and our partners to significantly increase the important research being done every day for the benefit of all humanity."

It will be great to see who has the more reliable spacecraft in future testing; Boeing, or SpaceX. It will also be very beneficial for the push for more American-based space exploration without the need to depend on international entities.
 
Source: NASA

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
APR 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Balances the Perseverance Rover's Chassis
APR 26, 2020
NASA Balances the Perseverance Rover's Chassis
Engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida has been working tirelessly over the past seve ...
MAY 11, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Hear What Astronauts Think About SpaceX's Upcoming Crewed Launch
MAY 11, 2020
Hear What Astronauts Think About SpaceX's Upcoming Crewed Launch
On Wednesday, May 27th, NASA will entrust commercial space company SpaceX with the coveted task of flying astronauts to ...
MAY 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Gives Green Light for Historic Crewed SpaceX Launch
MAY 24, 2020
NASA Gives Green Light for Historic Crewed SpaceX Launch
It’s no secret that NASA is working closely with private contractors like Boeing and SpaceX as a part of its Comme ...
MAY 30, 2020
Space & Astronomy
SpaceX Crewed Demo-2 Mission Lifts Astronauts Into Space From U.S. Soil
MAY 30, 2020
SpaceX Crewed Demo-2 Mission Lifts Astronauts Into Space From U.S. Soil
Following a cancelled rocket launch opportunity this past Wednesday due to unfavorable weather conditions, SpaceX and NA ...
JUN 15, 2020
Space & Astronomy
This Drop Tower Simulates Near-Zero Gravity On Earth
JUN 15, 2020
This Drop Tower Simulates Near-Zero Gravity On Earth
It’s almost impossible to replicate the effects of zero gravity here on Earth, and that’s one of the reasons ...
JUN 25, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Fast Radio Bursts: The Mysterious Cosmic Signals Just Got More Mysterious
JUN 25, 2020
Fast Radio Bursts: The Mysterious Cosmic Signals Just Got More Mysterious
Since the first discovery thirteen years ago, fast radio bursts (FRBs), a type of short radio pulses, have been fascinat ...
Loading Comments...