SpaceX gets another ISS Ferry Order from NASA

SpaceX gets another ISS Ferry Order from NASA

In a statement on Friday, NASA announced that it has ordered a ferry ship from a private aerospace company SpaceX. The ordered commercial crew spacecraft is the second from Elon Musk’s company.

The order is a part of the space agency’s efforts to keep developing spacecraft on the US soil to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Before this, NASA was dependent on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to carry its astronauts to and from the space station in low-earth orbit.

Last year, under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability program, NASA awarded Boeing a contract to develop two ferry ships. SpaceX was also awarded the contract. Under the contract, both the companies- SpaceX and Boeing- may build up to four additional ferry craft for the US space agency.

As per SpaceX’s plans, it will launch a Dragon capsule on an unpiloted test flight next year in May. If everything goes as per NASA’s schedule, the private space company will launch a manned flight to the ISS in August, 2017.

Boeing has also planned to launch an unpiloted test flight mission next year. As per the company, the test flight may be launched in December, 2017. After the successful test, Boeing will launch the piloted flight two months after the unpiloted mission. The company’s CST-100 ferry ship will take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. On the other side, SpaceX has planned to launch its Crew Dragon capsule from the Kennedy Space Center atop Falcon 9 booster.

About the latest order to SpaceX, Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, said, “The order of a second crew rotation mission from SpaceX, paired with the two ordered from Boeing, will help ensure reliable access to the station on American spacecraft”.


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