Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Orbital, SpaceX win NASA contract

Newsletter

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!

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In