SpaceX won another NASA contract to take Astronauts to ISS

11 January, 2017 | By Aapt Dubey
spacex nasa

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently ordered another mission for SpaceX. The Space Transport Services Company would take astronauts to the International Space Stations. Elon Musk is the owner of SpaceX. He is much grateful to NASA for the contract.

The SpaceX won its first NASA contract back in November. This contract would be the second NASA order for the firm. It now is on same level grounds with Boeing Co with two contracts each. The rules allow the company to take at most four crew members and about 220-pound cargo at a time to ISS.

This order is the last by NASA under Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts.

SpaceX would deploy one of its Falcon 9 rockets to launch its Crew Dragon spacecraft. The flight would leave from the Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Such flights can rejuvenate the United State's human spaceflight launch capability. It can provide more time to the US crew for their scientific researches. NASA believes that these companies can help prepare astronauts for deeper space missions.

Kathy Lueders is the manager for such programmes at NASA. She thinks that these programmes can assure regular flights to ISS with American cargos. It's going to be the lifeboat for space station for more than half a year.

SpaceX won the contract after the reviews of its Dragon Spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket. NASA also tested the ground systems of the firm. SpaceX passed all the interim developmental and internal design parameters set by the Association. Thus NASA found SpaceX best suited for the award.

The bestowal overwhelms Gwynne Shotwell, the SpaceX President and COO. He says that the firm appreciates NASA for trusting it with another crew mission. Further, the SpaceX President discloses that the company is looking forward to more such opportunities. He says the SpaceX plans to fly astronauts next year.

The NASA makes these CCtCap orders about two to three year before the date of the mission. This process gives the firms time to prepare the resources for the mission. The companies can craft and assemble their spaceships and launch vehicles.

The final approval for the flight by NASA needs the companies to complete a certification process. The process is mandatory for any firm willing to pursue the mission.

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