SpaceX seeking to win $3.5 Billion US Contract Renewal
Elon Musk’s aerospace company Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, also known as SpaceX, is currently in unfamiliar position. The company is facing competition for $3.5 billion contract for NASA cargo flights. SpaceX’s biggest rival is Chicago headquartered Boeing Co. The aerospace companies are trying to win a seven-year contract to take supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
In 2008, the United States space agency had split the initial $3.6 billion cargo-flight contract between Musk’s SpaceX and aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK Inc. The contract, at that time, helped Hawthorne headquartered SpaceX to establish itself as a tough competitor to Boeing-Lockheed Martin Corp. and United Launch Alliance.
Mark Sirangelo, head of Sierra Nevada’s Space Systems business, said in a statement that if NASA is planning to expand work on the ISS, the space agency needs a proper plan, supplies and people to conduct work on the space station.
Currently, both SpaceX and Orbital are struggling to launch a successful mission to space. Last year in October, an Orbital Antares rocket was destroyed a few seconds after liftoff. In June this year, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 caught fire while it was heading towards the space station in low Earth orbit.
While talking about urgent need to review NASA’s contracted launch services and capsules, Republican Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and David Vitter of Louisiana said, “The station’s reliance on Russian and Japanese spacecraft while the US craft have been grounded highlights the immediate and urgent need for appropriate oversight and corrective action”.
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