The Sciences

Orbital, SpaceX win NASA contract

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitDec 23, 2008 7:42 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Speaking of SpaceX, NASA just announced two HUGE awards for private contractors: $1.9 billion to Orbital Sciences, and $1.6 billion to SpaceX! Wow. These contracts are for lifting supplies to the International Space Station, and are for at least 20 tons of uploaded mass each (Orbital is required to have 8 launches, and SpaceX 12). SpaceX can do that pretty easily with their new Falcon 9 (assuming all goes well with their maiden voyage of the new rocket sometime in 2009), which can lift 12 tons per launch. According to NASA, these two companies can provide all the ISS needs for supplies during the era between the Shuttle and Constellation, roughly 2010 through 2015. The contracts are good through 2016. I'll note that here is where government directly affects the private sector. That's a lot of cash going to people who will use it to grow their industry, hire more highly-trained people, and maybe, just maybe, open up space to all of us in the coming years. Very cool, and my congratulations to both companies!

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.