Aerospace-manufacturer Space X has bagged a new contract from the US' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to supply cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) five times. The contract was signed in December 2015 and is estimated to be worth $700 million, reported Space News.
SpaceX and NASA had signed their first such contract under Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) in 2008. The new contract will bring the total number of such missions to 20, the report noted.
"We order resupply flights from our commercial providers via the contract modification process based on the mission needs to resupply the international space station," said Cheryl M. Warner, NASA spokeswoman to Space News.
Apart from SpaceX, Dulles,Virginia-based Orbital ATK also performs such cargo supply missions for NASA since its contract in 2008. But Orbital ATK has not been given any additional mission other than its original 10.
These contracts have evolved since they were originally signed. The terms and conditions have changed with respect to the amount of cargo and launch numbers.
CRS contracts are not open for outside analysis since NASA and its suppliers have invoked commercial sensitivity and have declined to reveal details about them.
Under the contracts, NASA promises a minimum of six cargo missions to the companies between 2016 and 2024, but it is not known if Orbital has fallen out of favour with NASA as the space agency looks for future space station requirements.