SpaceX becomes NASA’s second-largest vendor, surpassing Boeing

By | 26/10/2022

NASA obligated $2.04 billion to SpaceX in financial year 2022.

SpaceX becomes NASA’s second-largest vendor, surpassing Boeing

/ SpaceX’s Falcon 9 B1067.2 and Crew Dragon spacecraft at LC-39A in accelerate of the Crew-3 mission that launched for NASA in Nov 2021.Trevor Mahlmann

NASA obligated $ii.04 billion to SpaceX in fiscal year 2022, which concluded last month, according to new federal procurement data.

For the get-go fourth dimension, the corporeality paid by the space bureau to SpaceX exceeds that paid to Boeing, which has long been the leading hardware provider to NASA. Boeing received $ane.72 billion during the near recent fiscal year, based on data outset reported by Aviation Week’s Irene Klotz.

The California Institute of Applied science, which manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory field center for NASA, remains the agency’southward No. 1 contractor, with $2.68 billion in funding. The academic institution is responsible for operating the California-based NASA field center and distributing funding for myriad robotic spacecraft missions such equally Mars Perseverance and the Europa Clipper.

On the ane hand, the ascension of SpaceX to the No. two spot on NASA’s contractor list represents a major shakeup in the social club of things. For a long time, NASA’s human spaceflight and exploration programs were dominated by Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Aerojet, Northrop Grumman, and a handful of other traditional defense aerospace contractors.

Nevertheless, it should come as no surprise that a company that has recently delivered the most services—and, arguably, value—to NASA should starting time to receive a big share of its contract awards. This has been virtually notable with SpaceX’s performance on Commercial Crew, NASA’s program to buy transportation services from private companies to bring its astronauts to and from the International Infinite Station.

Starts with crew

NASA awarded contracts to Boeing and SpaceX in 2014 to develop their spacecraft, paying Boeing about 60 per centum more. At the fourth dimension, it was widely believed that the traditional contractor, with this additional money, would deliver services sooner. But it was SpaceX that offset flew crew to the space station in May 2020, and the company has since launched v operational missions to the orbiting laboratory.

In the concurrently, Boeing has struggled to become its Starliner spacecraft into a state of readiness, and a crewed test flying is now expected no earlier than next leap, with operational missions not occurring before at least the 2nd half of 2023. On such a schedule, SpaceX will have delivered crew services three years sooner than Boeing.

Across schedule—and the money NASA has saved by paying SpaceX less—NASA has realized enormous value by having its own transportation to the space station at a time of extremely high geopolitical tensions between the United States and Russian federation. Without SpaceX, NASA would be going hat in paw to Russia for rides to space.

Much of the funding increase for SpaceX in 2022, an increment of well-nigh $400 1000000 over the previous year, appears to be driven by contracts for the Homo Landing Arrangement as part of the Artemis Moon Program and the purchase of additional Crew Dragon missions to the infinite station. (Individual contracts can be establish within the Federal Procurement Data System).

Farther Reading

NASA will pay Boeing more than twice as much equally SpaceX for coiffure seats

Boeing has been the lead hardware contractor for NASA for much of the last decade due primarily to ii main programs. Boeing is the lead contractor of the Infinite Launch System rocket’s core stage, which has been funded through cost-plus contracts since 2011, and Boeing also is the master contractor for Infinite Station operations.

The visitor’south Starliner spacecraft is also an of import contract, but it doesn’t look similar a long-term moneymaker for the visitor. To fulfill its Infinite Station crew needs for the remainder of this decade, NASA recently decided that information technology would purchase a significant bulk of crew flights from SpaceX rather than Boeing. This was likely due to toll considerations and the operational readiness of Coiffure Dragon.

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