Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How do you spell 1.6 Beee-ll-yee-an Dollarssss?

S-P-A-C-E-X, that's how. Holy crap, Spacex just got awarded a monster contract from NASA.

$1.6 Billion to for cargo resupply services to the International Space Station. That's right, that's 'illion' with a B at the beginning.

And if things go well, NASA has the right to order another $1.5 Billion worth of services afterwards. Damn, that is serious sweetness.

For those that haven't been keeping up, SpaceX was previously awarded a smaller contract of about $300 million in 2006. Back then it was huge (actually it's still huge), but now it looks like small potatoes. The launch vehicle is Falcon 9 and the spacecraft that will dock with the ISS is called Dragon. The first Falcon 9 has already arrived in Cape Canaveral in preparation for its launch in 2009.

A 3D rendering of the Dragon Spacecraft that will dock with the ISS.

Here's the link to the official SpaceX announcement on the NASA Award.

Go SpaceX!!

Digg It!

50 comments:

Dave said...

Congratulations to all at SpaceX for the big win and to Mr. Musk in particular for making it all possible. SpaceX has pulled in an awfully big fish and I sincerely hope your company has the appetite to consume the whole thing and come back for more. Best of luck for the busy new year.

Stellvia said...

They say that 'nothing succeeds like success'. SpaceX has been on a roll since Falcon 1 Flight 4, and it's been awesome to behold. Onwards and upwards!

ザイツェヴ said...

Great news. I'm surprised how cheap it comes around though, 20 flights for 1600 mil, or 80 mil per flight for a new launch system (e.g. the money have to pay for the development, not just operations; and the development of both the rocket and the spacecraft). I hope it's doable.

Has anyone noticed that OSC TII + Cygnus is more expensive per flight? I already heard capring that if someone less shady than PlanetSpace submitted the third bid, a combination of Altas V and something based on Loran 1300 would've been competitve with TII (although probably not with F9/Dragon).

-- Pete

ザイツェヴ said...

I got my basics wrong in the previous comments: 1.6 billion contract includes 12 deliveries by SpaceX. The remaining 8 by OSC for the total of 20 are separate.

Ugo said...

The reason OSC has fewer flights contracted is apparently their capsule has a slightly larger pressurized volume and cargo is pretty much always volume-limited, not mass limited (where Dragon wins). The end result is OSC needs fewer flights for the 20 ton figure.

Dave G said...

Will the launch mount, erector, and other infrastructure at SLC-40 support F9H?

R2K said...

This is a substantial risk, but at at the same time, a great investment.

Gaetano Marano said...

.

just posted my suggestion #10 for the Human Space Flight Plans Committee and NASA:

"absolutely don't adopt the SERIOUSLY FLAWED Direct concept"

http://ow.ly/f3vQ

.

Sean said...

Congrats on the Razaksat launch too! Nice to have some non-NASA budget income I bet!

Brian said...

Flight 5 was an awesome success, and falcon 9 will hopefully follow soon... but how come you aren't keeping us up to date on teh latest developments? It's been a while..

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