Orbital Joins Winners of NASA Space Station Cargo Delivery Contract
[Satellite Today 12-30-08] Orbital Sciences Corp. has been selected for a long-term contract by NASA to provide cargo transportation services to and from the International Space Station, Orbital announced Dec. 24.
Orbital joins Space Exploration Technology Corp. (SpaceX) as NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program award winners.
Orbital’s contract has an expected value of approximately $1.9 billion for cargo transportation missions to be conducted between 2011 and 2015. This contract amount covers International Space Station cargo transportation services for about 20 metric tons of cargo, which would be accommodated by 8 missions of Orbital’s CRS system.
The operational missions would follow Orbital’s flight demonstration of its CRS system in late 2010 under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, which Orbital and the space agency initiated in early 2008.
“The CRS program will serve as a showcase for the types of commercial services U.S. space companies can offer NASA, allowing the space agency to devote a greater proportion of its resources for the challenges of human spaceflight, deep space exploration and scientific investigations of our planet and the universe in which we live,” said David Thompson, Orbital Chairman and CEO.