WASHINGTON — MEI Technologies of Houston has won a sole-source contract worth as much as $9.8 million from the U.S. Air Force to support Defense Department payloads bound for the international space station.

According to a Nov. 10 posting on the Federal Business Opportunities website, as part of the Defense Department’s Space Test Program, MEI Technologies is responsible for the department’s Human Exploration Payloads Bridge program, which provides support for the flight of Defense Department payloads on the international space station and related research platforms.

The Human Exploration Payloads Bridge program dates back to 1984 and work on the space shuttle program.

MEI Technologies’ contract includes ISS payload integration, safety engineering, mission design and development and integrating, testing and qualifying manned spaceflight hardware and software, according to the announcement.

The contract is for 18 months beginning Nov. 1, and includes a six-month option.

Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.