Last Friday, NASA made an order for SpaceX to transport its astronauts into the International Space Station. The order is an important one as it opens the door for more reliable and faster missions, thereby giving scientists more time for actual study.
According to All India Roundup, SpaceX will bring as many two crews, four individuals in total, to the ISS. For the mission, the private spacecraft and rocket company will also include as much as 220 pounds of cargo. The mission will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
This second crew rotation mission is the fourth and final in a contract in NASA's Commercial Crew Transportation Capability Contracts. Another was ordered for Space Xin November 2015 and another two for Boeing last year.
According to NASA's Commercial Crew Program manager Kathy Lueders, "These systems will ensure reliable U.S. crew rotation services to the station, and will serve as a lifeboat for the space station for up to seven months."
As Clarksville Online adds, SpaceX and Boeing are currently in the midst of creating and trying out hardware and assets to carry out the mission. In the future, NASA will need to identify which company will fly the initial post-certification mission to the ISS. The contract requires a minimum of two and maximum of six missions.
SpaceX took the last bid, as the company finished developmental milestones and design reviews for its Crew Dragon spacecraft, Falcon 9 rocket and other associated ground systems.
Gwynne Shotwell, who is SpaceX's president and chief operating officer, shares that the company is making notable progress with Crew Dragon. She said, "We appreciate the trust NASA has placed in SpaceX with the order of another crew mission and look forward to flying astronauts from American soil next year."
SpaceX is working hard on four Crew Dragon spacecrafts at its Hawthorne facility. Two of these will be used for qualification testing, while the other two will be for flight tests next year.