LUCKY NUM­BERTHREE

NASA Picks Three Com­pa­nies to Re­sup­ply the ISS All Through 2024

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FE­BRU­ARY 2016 NASA has fi­nally come to a con­clu­sion in terms of the three space-based cor­po­ra­tions that will be re­sup­ply­ing the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion (ISS) all the way through the year 2024.

As you may have guessed, one of the com­pa­nies cho­sen for this task was none other than Elon Musk's SpaceX, with the other two com­pa­nies be­ing Or­bital (ATK) and Sierra Ne­vada.

Orig­i­nally, it was SpaceX and Or­bital that were awarded the first round of NASA's com­mer­cial re­sup­ply back in 2008, but this time, it's Sierra Ne­vada who has se­cured the first rounds of re­sup­ply­ing rights. At the same time, SpaceX will be re­ceiv­ing ad­di­tional fund­ing to launch the Dragon cargo cap­sule via the Fal­con 9 rocket, while Or­bital will re­ceive funds to launch the Cygnus cargo craft via its own Antares rocket.

SpaceX's Fal­con 9 rocket was cho­sen mainly be­cause it is cur­rently the only rocket sys­tem in ex­is­tence that has been de­signed to be reused over and over again af­ter each launch, and its Dragon cargo cap­sule was made to only splash down into the ocean.

Lock­heed Martin and Boe­ing were ini­tially con­sid­ered as con­tenders by NASA for their mis­sion, but both cor­po­ra­tions were dis­missed early, on the grounds that their air­crafts did not meet the strin­gent re­quire­ments that are re­quired by the Amer­i­can space agency.

Im­age source: The Verge.

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