Space

Launches: SpaceX gets 5 crewed missions to ISS

Launches: A still from video footage of Crew Dragon spacecraft docked with ISS.
SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft docked with the International Space Station, just minutes before the station crossed into Earth’s shadow, on May 31, 2020. On August 31, 2022, NASA announced it has picked SpaceX to carry 5 additional crewed flights to the ISS through 2030. Also, Crew-5, the next manned flight to the ISS, will lift off October 3, 2022. Image via NASA TV.

Launches: NASA tags SpaceX for more crewed missions

NASA said on August 31, 2022 that it has picked SpaceX to fly five crewed missions to the International Space Station over the next six years. The $1.4-billion contract is comprehensive, leaving SpaceX to run the entire show. From NASA’s announcement:

This is a firm fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract modification for the Crew-10, Crew-11, Crew-12, Crew-13 and Crew-14 flights. The value of this modification for all five missions and related mission services is $1,436,438,446. The amount includes ground, launch, in-orbit, and return and recovery operations, cargo transportation for each mission, and a lifeboat capability while docked to the International Space Station. The period of performance runs through 2030 and brings the total CCtCap [commercial crew transportation capability] contract value with SpaceX to $4,927,306,350.

SpaceX was first picked along with Boeing to provide Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) services in 2014. And Boeing might fly its Starliner spacecraft to the ISS for the first time in early 2023.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is still working earlier contracts with NASA. On August 25, NASA said that the NASA SpaceX Crew-5 mission will fly early next month from Kennedy Space Center in Florida:

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than 12:45 p.m. EDT [15:45 UTC] Monday, October 3, for the launch of the agency’s Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station. The date adjustment allows for extra separation with spacecraft traffic coming to and from the space station.

Two male and 2 female astronauts in blue jump suits, looking happy.
From left, Koichi Wakata, of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, and NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada will fly aboard NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission. The crew will lift off aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft – atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket – from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida. Image via SpaceX/ NASA.

Enter the Dragon

Significantly, the Crew-5 mission will mark the first time any SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule has carried a Russian space traveler. In this case it will be the Dragon Endurance (Dragon C210):

Crew-5 will carry two NASA astronauts, Mission Commander Nicole Mann and Pilot Josh Cassada, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who will serve as mission specialists.

Also of note, the Crew-5 mission was originally delayed when the Falcon 9 carrying the Dragon Endurance struck a bridge during transport to the launch site. The vehicle was damaged slightly, according to SpaceflightNow:

Bottom line: NASA has contracted with SpaceX to provide five crewed missions to the ISS through 2030. In addition, they’ve selected October 3, 2022, as the launch date for the next crewed mission to the ISS.

Via NASA

LEAVE A RESPONSE

Please help keep this Site Going