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NASA Awards 3 MORE Contracts to SpaceX to Fly Astronauts to ISS

NASA awards three more SpaceX contracts to fly additional Commercial Crew missions to the International Space Station or the ISS.

NASA Awards 3 MORE Contracts to SpaceX to Fly Astronauts to ISS

(Photo : Photo by GREGG NEWTON/AFP via Getty Images)
A NASA security helicopter flies past the Vehicle Assembly Building on launch day at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 26, 2020. – A new era in space begins Wednesday with the launch by SpaceX of two NASA astronauts into space, a capability that for six decades symbolized the power of a handful of states.

 NASA Awards 3 Contracts to SpaceX

As per a news story by TechCrunch, NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has added three more space missions under its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with billionaire Elon Musk’s firm, SpaceX.

The three additional SpaceX missions, namely the Crew-7, Crew-8, and Crew-9, cost a whopping $900 million in total, raising the overall commercial crew contract of NASA to a staggering $3.49 billion.

Previously, NASA’s contract with SpaceX only accounts for 6 crewed flights, which will be flying up until 2023, including commercial flights for 2022, such as Crew-4 and Crew-5.

This time around, the three new contracts of SpaceX now increased its commercial crewed flights with NASA to nine flights in total.

That said, from its previous crewed flights spanning up to 2023, the space company of Musk is now launching commercial flights for the US space agency up until March 31, 2028.

The associate administrator of NASA for its Space Operations Mission Directorate, Kathy Lueders, said that the additional crewed flights to the International Space Station are “critical.”

It comes as Lueders said that it is necessary to maintain the presence of the United States in the orbiting space station.

Lueders said in the notice of intent of NASA that “our US human launch capability is essential to our continued safe operations in orbit and to building our low-Earth orbit economy.”

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SpaceX: NASA’s Only Choice

According to a recent report by Teslarati, NASA technically has two choices for its Commercial Crew Program, which includes SpaceX and Boeing, which develops the Starliner spacecraft.

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(Photo : Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
Elon Musk, CEO of Space Exploration Technologies Corp, speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club April 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. Elon Musk, CEO of Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) and Tesla Motors, held the news conference to announce SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket which could complete missions to the International Space Station and Moon and should be ready for use by the end of 2012.

However, it is worth noting that the latter has yet to perform its successful uncrewed flights to orbit. In turn, it has also failed to test out a crewed mission to space.

That said, although technically Boeing is part of the Commercial Crew Program of NASA, it has been removed from the contract add-on, leaving SpaceX as the lone choice for the space agency.

It is worth noting that the three additional flights worth more than $900 million have raised the total contract of NASA with SpaceX to a whopping $3.49 billion.

With the latest figures, Teslarati estimated that the average price per seat on the SpaceX mission is to the tune of $74 million, assuming that all four seats of the spacecraft are occupied.

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Written by Teejay Boris

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