Maintenance Aspects on the ISS, SpaceX or Boeing Spacecraft
Starting in 2012, the first commercial spacecraft, SpaceX's Dragon, made a visit to the space station. Visits continue today with Dragon and Orbital ATK's Antares spacecraft under the first stage of NASA's Commercial Resupply Services program. Dragon, Antares and Sierra Nevada Corp.'s Dream Chaser all have received CRS-2 contracts expected to cover flights between 2019 and 2024.
You can find those figures here.)
A, October 2013). The CCtCap contracts set fixed prices for development activities and test flights, crewed missions to the ISS, and special studies. As of May 2019, Boeing and SpaceX’s contracts were valued at $4.3 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively. Of those amounts, Boeing’s costs for development and test flights were $2.2 billion, while SpaceX’s were $1.2 billion. For crewed missions to the ISS, NASA awarded each contractor six round-trip missions. Assuming four astronauts per flight and using publicly available information, the estimated average cost per seat is approximately $90 million for Boeing and approximately $55 million for SpaceX, potentially providing cost savings over current Soyuz prices (CCT-PLN-1120, Revision C-2, October 25, 2013). Additionally, each contract includes up to $150 million each for special studies requested by NASA, such as additional parachute testing on the contractors’ capsules.
Now I really don’t want to go down a spitting match of why they received such different amounts, but it likely had to do with each companies proposal. SpaceX likely quoted less initially. Perhaps after SpaceX flies a few dozen astronauts, they can charge a little more for increased confidence from NASA… kind of like how they were able to increase the price of the cargo resupply missions once they proved to be reliable and after they gained a better sense of the costs of running the program.
NASA, NASA Plan for Commercial LEO Development (June 7, 2019).
International Space Station (ISS) Program Plan (Rev. A, October 2013).
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-267 § 403(b)(5) (2010).
Commercial Crew Transportation System Certification Requirements for NASA Low Earth Orbit Missions (HEOMD-CSD-10001, Rev. A, November 12, 2013).
Crew Transportation Technical Management Processes (CCT-PLN-1120, Revision C-2, October 25, 2013).