NASA awards Orbital $1.9 billion contract

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NASA has awarded Dulles-based Orbital Sciences Corp. a $1.9 billion contract to provide cargo transportation from its Eastern Shore spaceport to the International Space Station.

NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services program awarded the contract to Orbital, which will conduct eight missions between 2011 and 2015. The company will transport as much as 20 tons on each trip.

“The CRS program will serve as a showcase for the types of commercial services U.S. space companies can offer NASA, allowing the space agency to devote a greater proportion of its resources for the challenges of human spaceflight, deep space exploration and scientific investigations of our planet and the universe in which we live,” Orbital Chairman and CEO David W. Thompson said in a statement.

Under the contract, Orbital will expand its facilities at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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