SpaceX lands $1.4B NASA deal for 5 astronaut missions
Elon Musk-ledhas closed a deal with space agency NASA to take five more crewed missions to space towards the end of the decade, for $1.4 billion. With this deal, SpaceX's total number of contracted missions to take astronauts into space stands at 14.
As reported by Reuters, this deal represents SpaceX's attempts to maintain a constant flow of human spaceflight business with NASA, as its main competitor, Boeing, has struggled to deliver on their shuttle, the Starliner space capsule.
According to a NASA press release, the new deal provides the agency with uninterrupted access to the international space station until the end of the decade. NASA, famously, has not launched a human spaceflight mission of its own since 2011. However, the agency is currently focussed on building technologies that will help take astronauts back to the moon, and perhaps even to Mars in the next two decades.
SpaceX and Boeing both earned multibillion-dollar contracts in 2014 with the aim of developing technologies to provide rockets for astronaut travel to the international space station. While Boeing is yet to launch any astronauts, SpaceX has successfully launched five missions with astronauts since it was crew certified in 2020.