Wednesday, March 8, 2023

NASA awards $400,000 contract to Russian agency for launch support services

NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, released contract documents on Wednesday showing the agency intends to award a contract to Roscosmos for launch support services at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Roscosmos is a state corporation of the Russian Federation responsible for the country’s space program.

The contract award notice released Wednesday states NASA intends “to award a new work modification to contract number NAS15-10110 with State Space Corporation Roscosmos,” The new work will provide support services for NASA personnel with regard to their participation in the launch and their support of NASA cargo loading for the Soyuz 68s vehicle.

The total estimated value of this action is estimated to be around $400,000, NASA said in contract documents. “Roscosmos will provide transportation from Moscow, Russia, to Baikonur, Kazakhstan, as well as providing security services, document clearances, lodging, and meals for NASA personnel.”

These services address logistic requirements for NASA personnel to be present in an administratively closed city in Kazakhstan whereby “Roscosmos is the only authority that can allow access,” NASA said.

The documents continued, “In order for NASA personnel to travel to Baikonur and perform the necessary launch and cargo loading support services detailed herein, they require these logistic support services. Given that Baikonur is an administratively closed city, the only possible source for these services is Roscosmos.”

NASA stated in the documents “the agency will continue to examine the market in the future for alternative solutions or new sources before executing any subsequent acquisitions for the same requirements.”

After the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011, the U.S. has relied heavily on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft for sending American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon capsule has also been added to transport astronauts to ISS.

No comments: