NASA has awarded the next phase of the COTS program, and the winners are the same two companies that won the last round: SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corporation. The two companies beat out PlanetSpace, a consortium ofÂ Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and ATK. NASA’s press release follows:
NASA has awarded two contracts — one to Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., and one to Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif. — for commercial cargo resupply services to the International Space Station. At the time of award, NASA has ordered eight flights valued at about $1.9 billion from Orbital and 12 flights valued at about $1.6 billion from SpaceX.
These fixed-price indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts will begin Jan. 1, 2009, and are effective through Dec. 31, 2016. The contracts each call for the delivery of a minimum of 20 metric tons of upmass cargo to the space station. The contracts also call for delivery of non-standard services in support of the cargo resupply, including analysis and special tasks as the government determines are necessary.
NASA has set production milestones and reviews on the contracts to monitor progress toward providing services. The maximum potential value of each contract is about $3.1 billion. Based on known requirements, the value of both contracts combined is projected at $3.5 billion.
These agreements will fulfill NASA’s need to procure cargo delivery services to the space station using a U.S. commercial carrier after the retirement of the space shuttle.