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SpaceX awarded $1.4bn contract to launch five more NASA astronauts

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NASA’s partnership with SpaceX just became $1.4 billion sweeter, as the space agency revealed Wednesday that it is extending its agreement with the company to include five more missions.

SpaceX awarded $1.4bn contract to launch five more NASA astronauts

SpaceX awarded $1.4bn contract to launch five more NASA astronauts

The contract cements a long future for SpaceX and NASA as they work together to launch astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The newly contracted launches extend their partnership through 2030 and bring the total contract value to nearly $5 billion for 14 fully operational astronaut missions.

SpaceX and NASA first inked a deal in 2014. At the time, it covered six such astronaut launches and was valued at $2.6 billion. A crewed demonstration mission — which marked the first astronaut launch to take off from US soil since NASA’s Space Shuttle program was retired — went off in 2020. And SpaceX has handled routine launches since, with its fifth fully operational mission slated to take off this fall.


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This deal also builds on a contract extension NASA gave SpaceX in February for three additional flights of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, and the space agency had already signaled in June that intended to sign on for even more.

“In December 2021, NASA announced the extension of the International Space Station to 2030,” the space agency wrote in a blog post at the time. “With this extension, there is a need for additional crew rotation missions to sustain a safe and sustainable flight cadence throughout the remainder of the space station’s planned operations.”

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