NASA set to award space station cargo contracts

Reuters News
|
Posted: Jan 14, 2016 12:22 PM

By Irene Klotz

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A three-way competition to fly cargo to the International Space Station for NASA has ended, and the U.S. space agency is set to announce the winners on Thursday.

Incumbents Space Exploration Technologies and Orbital ATK are vying with privately owned Sierra Nevada Corp., which is developing a robotic, reusable miniature space plane known as Dream Chaser.

A news conference is scheduled for 4 p.m. EST (2100 GMT) to unveil the winning bids, NASA said.

Privately owned SpaceX, as the California-based company is known, and Orbital both currently ferry cargo to the space station aboard capsules.

NASA previously eliminated proposals from Boeing Co and Lockheed-Martin for space station resupply missions.

The U.S. space agency has said it intends to award multiple contracts, each including at least six cargo flights to the station, a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.

(Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by Will Dunham)