STATES CHRONICLE – On Friday, NASA made a formal announcement that they will award to SpaceX four missions to fly astronauts into space. NASA will also collaborate for such missions with Boeing. Although last year was marked by a catastrophic rocket crash, it seems that SpaceX and NASA space travel together again.
Since four years ago, when the Space Shuttles were drown out, all transportation of staff going to and from the International Space Station for all 16 nations had to rely on the Russian Space Agency. This will last for two more years, when, in 2017, the flights by SpaceX and Boeing are going to start.
The main reason NASA has decided to give up on their deal with the Russian Space Agency is that they are charging too much. It is estimated that a seat on a Russia Soyuz rocket costs $82 million. And, of course, NASA doesn’t only need one seat. By the time they switch to the manned flights by Boeing and SpaceX, NASA will have paid to Russia approximately half a billion dollars. This is considered to be a quite disturbing situation, given the fact that the U.S. and Vladimir’s Putin government have not been on the best terms lately.
SpaceX seems to be doing rather well, since last week it was announced that they will also get the AirForce contract for GPS satellites which are scheduled to launch in 2018. SpaceX’s main competitor was United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed. ULA had previously monopolized the launches for the U.S. military, but they exited the bidding because their engines come from Russia and the Congress has decided to only use them for military purposes. On the other hand, it seems that SpaceX was earlier blocked from the bidding for the military contract, but they managed to get in after suing.
The company owes most of its success to CEO Elon Musk, who is known for being a very ambitious and tenacious businessman of South-African origins, who has numerous start-ups and seems to do well in each one of them. Besides SpaceX, he also owns PayPal, Tesla Motors and Solar City and they are all very successful companies.
Image source: www.bing.com