NASA has selected SpaceX as the first U.S. commercial provider under the Gateway Logistics Services contract to deliver cargo, experiments and other supplies to the agency’s Gateway in lunar orbit.
The NASA announcement also revealed a larger version of the SpaceX manned Dragon capsule, Dragon XL.
The SpaceX Dragon XL appears to be bigger than the Dragon Capsule. The extra size may just for the fuel and engines to reach the needed lunar orbit for the Gateway. Steve Jurvetson, billionaire Venture Capitalist and SpaceX investor, says SpaceX Dragon XL will supply 5 tons to the lunar gateway or the moon.
NASA is planning multiple supply missions in which the cargo spacecraft will stay at the Gateway for six to 12 months at a time.
These firm-fixed price, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts for logistics services guarantee two missions per logistics services provider with a maximum total value of $7 billion across all contracts as additional missions are needed.