After the success of the first missions to the International Space Station made by SpaceXthe NASA has just announced that the company will be able to continue for 5 more missions. According to information, this new contract has a value of more than 1.4 billion euros and modifies the agreement that currently exists between the two entities.
According to the American space agency, this new agreement will allow it to maintain uninterrupted United States capability to send humans to the ISS until 2030. The rocket Falcon 9 of SpaceX and its capsule Crew Dragon will continue to be used under this new deal.
The new agreement covers missions ranging from from Crew-10 to Crew-14. This represents 20 seats aboard the Crew Dragon capsule.
The only certified transport system
This isn’t the first time SpaceX has had its contract changed to allow it to run more missions for NASA. Last December, the contract CCtCap or Commercial Crew Transportation company was amended to add three more flights.
At the time, NASA officials said SpaceX’s crew transport system is the only certified to meet NASA’s requirements for transporting astronauts to the ISS. It is also the only one certified to maintain the agency’s obligation to its international partners within the required deadlines.
With the new deal, SpaceX’s CCtCap contract is currently worth a total of approximately €4.9 billion.
Maintaining the ISS until 2030
This change to SpaceX’s contract was not totally unexpected. We know that NASA wants to continue sending astronauts aboard the laboratory in orbit until at least 2030. The extension of the agency’s participation in the ISS project has also been endorsed by the Joe Biden Administrationan extension of six years after 2024.
Continuing with the ISS is however not an option for the Russia which is a major partner of the project. The country intends to withdraw to concentrate on its own space station. The construction of the latter will however not be completed before 2028, as indicated by the experts.