The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Crew Dragon capsule, lifts off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, Saturday, May 30, 2020. The SpaceX Demo-2 mission is the first crewed orbital launch from the United States since Almost a decade ago.
Joe Burbank | Orlando Sentinel | Getty Images
NASA announced Wednesday that it has awarded five additional astronaut missions to… Elon Musk SpaceX, with an additional $1.4 billion contract for the company.
The additional flights fall under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which delivers astronauts and cargo to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX is currently working on the agency’s fourth human spaceflight.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft competes Boeing and its Starliner capsule for contracts under Commercial Crew. While both companies have now been awarded nearly $5 billion to develop and launch their respective capsules, SpaceX has won 14 missions and Boeing has taken six. The latter has not yet launched astronauts with Starliner.
Due in part to the fixed-price nature of NASA contracts for the program, Boeing absorbed $688 million in costs from delays and overtime on the capsule. after, after Successful completion of the Starliner’s unmanned flight To the International Space Station in May, the company is now aiming to fly astronauts for the first time in February.
The 20 flights awarded so far cover crew assignments until 2030 when the International Space Station is expected to be decommissioned.
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NASA said Boeing is facing “emerging issues” ahead of the first crewed flight of its Starliner capsule in July.
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