Updated March 25th, 2022 at 22:47 IST

SpaceX, Northrop Grumman bag six additional NASA resupply missions to ISS till 2026

NASA has awarded Elon Musk's SpaceX six more missions to the International Space Station under its Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contracts.

Reported by: Harsh Vardhan
Image: Twitter/@SpaceX | Image:self

NASA has awarded Elon Musk's SpaceX six more missions to the International Space Station (ISS) under its Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contracts with a maximum potential value of $14 billion. Another US company Northrop Grumman has also received orders for six trips to the space station and will share the contract budget with SpaceX. This comes after NASA recently granted $3.49 billion to SpaceX for astronaut transportation to the ISS under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract.

According to NASA, the crew and cargo resupply missions to the space station would be carried out through 2026 under the contracts. NASA, in 2016 as well, had offered the CRS-2 contracts to these two companies along with Sierra Space. Four years later in October 2020, NASA had again ordered two additional missions from Northrop Grumman, and three from SpaceX, the agency said in a report.

So far, the CRS-2 contracts have seen the agency award a total of 32 missions, wherein 15 went to SpaceX, 14 are for Northrop Grumman and three to Sierra Space. 

NASA's trust in SpaceX

As mentioned above, SpaceX has already bagged a $3.49 billion contract to ferry astronauts to and from the space station. Under the contract, Musk's space company would carry the operations through 2028, which shows NASA's trust in SpaceX. Earlier, NASA has said that SpaceX is currently the only company capable of providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective human space transportation. So far, SpaceX has completed three crew launches for NASA including Crew-1, Crew-2 and Crew-3. Henceforth, the company is aiming for Crew-4 and Crew-5 launch in 2022 and the subsequent one next year. According to NASA, the fresh contract would cover launches up to Crew-9 by the end of the decade.   

The Crew-4 mission is scheduled for April 19, wherein the Crew Dragon capsule named 'Freedom' would carry a team of four astronauts- Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, Jessica Watkins and Samantha Christoforetti. 

Image: Twitter/@SpaceX


Published March 25th, 2022 at 22:47 IST