NASA Extends New Contract To SpaceX
SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer owned by successful Billionaire Elon Musk, is one of the private contractors to ferry food supply, equipment, and experiments to the International Space Station (ISS). It will also eventually carry astronauts to ISS.
When NASA awarded SpaceX the contract to handle cargo transport for ISS back in 2008, SpaceX has always been successful with it space launches. However, on it’s 20th journey to ISS last 28th June, for the first time its rocket, Falcon 9, of exploded two minutes and 20 seconds after liftoff, high above Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida
According to NASA, the said explosion cost taxpayers a total of USD110 million. It has been a major setback for SpaceX. The next launch of SpaceX has been moved to December this year as they had to probe deeper as to what caused the mishap last June. SpaceX should do everything to avoid recurrence. The same failure dramatically reduced the chance of SpaceX to earn military contracts and almost end any chance of flying astronauts to the space station.
Last Friday, 20th of November, NASA announced that a private Californian aerospace company could continue building an experimental launch vehicle expected eventually to take astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX is based in Hawthorne, California. NASA hired SpaceX not only to deliver cargo to ISS but also astronauts. The announcement of NASA could only mean more money for SpaceX. A share of a new commercial space launch market is expected to be worth billions of dollars.
Previously, Elon Musk CEO at SpaceX , sued Air Force to get a piece of the USD11 billion military and intelligence launch business, which he charged has unfairly gone to United Launch Alliance (ULA), a 50-50 joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
SpaceX will now continue to work on developing its commercial rocket called Dragon.