According to the report, the extensions will cover all missions from January 2027 to December 2030, earlier NASA made a similar announcement intending to end the ISS program and transition to commercial space stations by 2030
The US space agency NASA announced its intention to issue sole-source extensions of its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) 2 contracts with Northrop Grumman, Sierra Space and SpaceX. The agency notified its plan through a procurement notice on Thursday.
It added the extensions will cover all missions from January 2027 to December 2030. Earlier NASA made a similar announcement intending to end the ISS program and transition to commercial space stations by 2030.
However, the space agency has not clarified the reason for extending the contracts rather than holding a new competition. And its issued notice offers companies proposing alternative cargo vehicles until 17 March to provide information about their capabilities so that NASA can decide about holding an open competition or issuing the extensions.
Earlier NASA has awarded three companies with CRS-2 contracts in 2016 that provided cargo delivery as a successor to the original CRS contracts to Orbital Sciences and SpaceX. Thus, facilitating each company with a guarantee of at least six missions under the contract, with the ability for NASA to order more.
In March of last year, the space agency announced six additional missions each from Northrop and SpaceX, bringing the total ordered to date to 14 from Northrop and 15 from SpaceX. Later marking the formal order, only three Dream Chaser missions from Sierra Space.
The total value of this mission is not disclosed by NASA, the space agency claims the same as “contractor confidential data.” Under such circumstances, reports doubt new companies’ interest in bidding on a new CRS competition considering the small duration contract.
Meanwhile, both Northrop and SpaceX are preparing for their next cargo missions to the ISS in the upcoming weeks.