SpaceX has won a $700million contract with NASA. It involves five resupply launches to International Space Station (ISS). This brings Elon Musks California-based rocket company to 20 scheduled NASA missions. Since its initial contract in 2008. with NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services, (CNS), SpaceX’s first contract was with CNS. SpaceX and NASA reached a secret agreement during Christmas holidays. The details of the agreement to resupply the ISS have just been revealed. This $700million total is an estimate from the industry. SpaceX has twice as many missions with NASA now compared to its main rival, Orbital ATK, based in Dulles, Virginia, which signed its own deal with CRS in 2008 for 10 committed flights. CRS is not rumored to be in talks with Orbital about a possible new agreement. SpaceX’ Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX claims that Falcon 9 was the first commercial spacecraft to rendezvous with the International Space Station. (Image: SpaceX.com). The contract has been updated many times since its initial signing in 2008,. It can seem like an entirely new agreement today. Space News’ Stephanie L. Schierholz told Space News the original agreement was for cargo delivery to the ISS. However, the terms were expanded to include details such as how many launches. Space News asked Cheryl M. Warner, NASA spokesperson, if competing bids had been considered prior to updating the SpaceX contract. She replied that “we order resupply flight from our commercial suppliers via the contract modification process based upon the mission needs resupply international station.” The Dragon spacecraft which is the highest part of Falcon 9 and where cargo is carried, spent five weeks on the ISS last year. The spacecraft provided 4 ,300 lbs of food, supplies, and equipment to the crew at ISS. (Image: uncovercalifornia.com) Regarding the initial contracts with the two suppliers, on 23rd December, 2008, NASA wrote: “At the time of award, NASA has ordered eight flights valued at about $1.9 billion from Orbital and 12 flights valued at about $1.6 billion from SpaceX. The fixed-price, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contracts are in effect from Jan. 2009, through December 2016.. Each contract requires the delivery of at least 20 tons of space cargo. They will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2016. NASA established production milestones for each contract and reviewed them to ensure that they were being fulfilled. According to known requirements, both the contracts are expected to be worth $3.5 billion. The Dragon cargo container can be re-used. SpaceX’s contract required it use its Dragon cargo container. This container can travel round trip and bring back hardware, while Orbital’s Cyngus container will explode when it enters our atmosphere. SpaceX received eight additional launches, while Orbital got two. Elon Musk with President Barack Obama on the Falcon 9 launch location in 2010. SpaceX was founded by Elon Musk in 2002, to create technologies that would allow people to live on other worlds. (Image: Wikipedia) Satellite delivery today SpaceX’ Falcon-9 rocked is set for a launch today (25th February) after 18: 46 hours, weather permitting, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The satellite will carry SES-9, the commercial communication satellite of SES (a global satellite operator) to a Geostationary Transport Orgit. SES owns a number of geostationary satellites. SpaceX released the following statement regarding its payload: “SES-9, the largest satellite for serving the Asia-Pacific regionfor SES. SES-9’s payload will include 81 Ku-band equivalents that are high-powered and capable of providing coverage for more than 20 country in the region. SpaceX stated in a press release: “SES-9 is the largest satellite dedicated to serving the Asia-Pacific regionfor SES.” The US space agency will likely be closely monitoring Falcon-9. In three of its previous attempts, it failed to reach the floating “drone” ship. A third supplier to NASA CRS was introduced last month by Sierra Nevada Corp. from Sparks, Nevada. To prepare for 2019 and the close of 2024., the company signed CRS-2 contracts. Video – Dragon Attaches to ISS. On May 25, 2012, SpaceX became history with the successful attachment of Dragon, the Falcon 9 rocket’s container that holds cargo and passengers.
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