Nyack, NY - The Space Frontier Foundation congratulates Orbital Sciences Corporation on a successful berthing with the International Space Station (ISS), proving that investment in the NewSpace industry pays off in a big way.
On September 18, 2013 Cygnus launched atop the Antares rocket, and 11 days later, after successfully fixing a navigation software issue, the Cygnus cargo vehicle berthed with the International Space Station. This completes almost all of the COTS program, and allows Orbital Sciences Corporation to begin delivering up to 20,000 kg of supplies – over eight launches – to the ISS, under the Commercial Re-Supply Services (CRS) contract with NASA.
“We now have two private space companies that have succeeded in delivering cargo to the International Space Station, which up until NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program arrived, was a job reserved for only the wealthiest governments,”said Foundation President James Pura. ”Since 2006, the Foundation has supported the COTS program because it uses fixed-price, milestone-based awards, and believes that more funding should go into these kinds of programs, including the Commercial Crew program. Programs like COTS and CCiCap force the space industry to be innovative and not rely solely on cost-plus contracts.”