Orbital ATK expects a “go/no-go decision” by early next year on an Air Force-funded program to develop a new large launch vehicle.
The first launch by SpaceX from an historic KSC launch pad will be delayed by at least a day after a technical problem scrubbed an attempted launch of a Dragon cargo spacecraft Feb. 18.
Sierra Nevada Corp., who won one of three contracts from NASA in January to deliver cargo to the International Space Station, said July 11 that it is has completed the first milestone under that award.
NASA documents about the selection of commercial cargo contracts announced in January show that SpaceX had the highest technical ratings of the three winning companies, but also, by one metric, the highest price.
Sierra Nevada Corp.’s win of a NASA contract to ferry cargo to the International Space Station will trigger a $36 million investment by the 22-nation European Space Agency following a cooperation agreement to be signed in the coming weeks.
Chief Executive David W. Thompson said the company has already benefited from price cuts to the United Launch Alliance rocket in its contract for a March 2016 launch of Orbital’s Cygnus space station cargo transporter.
Sierra Nevada Corp. expects to start a new series of unpowered flight tests of its Dream Chaser spacecraft in early 2016 as the company awaits the outcome of a NASA commercial cargo competition.
Having delayed the award of follow-on Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contracts until at least November, NASA is considering ordering more International Space Station cargo deliveries from Orbital ATK and SpaceX, both of which had already quietly hauled in additional orders under CRS deals signed in 2008.