Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
The competition heats up: NASA will announce the two contract winners for its second round of ISS cargo contracts on November 5.
If it was up to me to pick the two winners from the four companies bidding, SpaceX, Boeing, Orbital ATK, and Sierra Nevada, I would go with Orbital ATK and Sierra Nevada. SpaceX and Boeing already have contracts to ferry crews to ISS with their Dragon and Starliner capsules. By picking Orbital ATK’s Cygnus capsule and Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser reusable mini-shuttle, NASA would then have four different ways to get payloads to ISS.
Sadly, the decision is not up to me. It is more likely NASA will pick SpaceX and Boeing. Boeing especially is likely to get picked because they are an established big player with lots of capital and influence.