SpaceX Will Fly Crew Dragon to Space Station Until 2030

NASA has awarded five additional missions to SpaceX for crew transportation services to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract. The CCtCap modification brings the total missions for SpaceX to 14 and allows NASA to maintain an uninterrupted U.S. capability for human access to the space station until 2030, with two unique commercial crew industry partners.

The value of this modification for all five missions and related mission services is $1,436,438,446. The amount includes ground, launch, in-orbit, and return and recovery operations, cargo transportation for each mission, and a lifeboat capability while docked to the International Space Station. The period of performance runs through 2030 and brings the total CCtCap contract value with SpaceX to $4,927,306,350.


5 thoughts on “SpaceX Will Fly Crew Dragon to Space Station Until 2030”

  1. Will the ISS even be operating in 2030? Without Russian support after contract expiration in 2024, or even sooner if hostilities escalate, it may be impossible for America alone to keep it in orbit.

    • The opinions I have seen in a couple of articles by people I think have a good understanding of the situation is that, contrary to the clickbait stories most “news” outlets are running, what the Russian space agency actually said is that they will continue participating in the ISS after the end of the current agreement at least until they have their own space station up and running. Those people in the know believe that the Russian space agency has no chance of getting their own space station up and running before 2030, so NASA planning on having the ISS running normally until 2030 seems reasonable.

      Of course, the Russians could change their minds and pull out before they have their own space station running, or even before 2024. I think what would happen if they did so would depend on how much the USA wants to keep ISS going. From what I have read on that possibility, the USA probably could get USA companies to put together quickly some equipment that would substitute for the propulsion that the Russian part of ISS provides now. That assumes that the Russians do not take any actions that deliberately sabotage the ISS as part of their pull out.

      Getting that substitute propulsion capability would be an extra expense, so there is a chance Congress would not provide the money needed. My crystal ball is hazy about how that would turn out, so I’m not going to offer a prediction about how that would go. But the main point I want to make is that the ISS probably could continue operating until 2030, even if the Russians decide to pull out, if the USA is willing to allocate the additional money it would take to provide the substitute for the propulsion currently provided by the Russians — it probably is technically possible.

    • Given the margins and bonus from reuse, it surely isn’t a problem for SpaceX.

      For Boeing, it’s a problem now, even with their higher per mission fee.

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