NASA purchases more missions for its CRS-2 program to deliver cargo resupply through 2026. The purchases were a total of six SpaceX Cargo Dragon flights and six to launch cargo aboard the Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft. These missions will deliver cargo to the ISS.
“While the maximum potential value of all contracts is $14 billion, NASA orders missions as needed, and the total prices paid under the contract will depend on which mission types are ordered,” said NASA in a press release. Furthermore, the announcement comes after the agency had purchased on October 16, 2020, a pair of missions from Northrop Grumman and three from SpaceX. Totally, there are 32 resupply missions under the CRS-2 contracts. Where, a total of 15 missions for SpaceX Crew Dragon, 14 missions to Northrop Grumman Cygnus, and 3 missions to Sierra Nevada Corporation.
“NASA just ordered six more cargo resupply missions to the Space Station from Northrop Grumman, and we could not be more proud. By 2026, our award-winning Cygnus spacecraft will have supported 25 missions! #DefiningPossible,” wrote Northrop Grumman representatives via Twitter. Cygnus is launched by Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket or ULA’s Atlas V rocket. It is known that the Cygnus vehicle has been operational since 2014.
NASA just ordered six more cargo resupply missions to the @Space_Station from Northrop Grumman, and we could not be more proud.
“NASA has ordered six additional Space Station resupply missions from SpaceX! Dragon will continue to deliver critical cargo and supplies to and from the orbiting lab through 2026,” said SpaceX representatives via Twitter. Additionally, Dragon is launched by SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9 rocket. So far, SpaceX has performed a total of 24 cargo missions to ISS for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services since October 2012. Then, the next CRS-25 mission is planned to liftoff in May. In the past, Dragon became the first commercially built and operated spacecraft to be recovered successfully from orbit in December 2010. Then it was the first commercial spacecraft to successfully rendezvous and dock to the ISS on May 25, 2012. For a decade, SpaceX has demonstrated that Dragon is reliable spacecraft to transport cargo to and from the orbiting laboratory. An upgraded version of Dragon was developed to launch astronauts to the Space Station. SpaceX returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States/NASA in 2020, Crew Dragon has launched five crewed missions, including the first all-civilian spaceflight to orbit Earth for three days.
SpaceX uses its cargo Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to furnish the ISS with supplies and has done so since it conducted the first resupply mission to the station in 2012. After departing Earth, the Dragon rendezvous with the ISS and autonomously dock at the station.