NASA awards processing contracts

NASA’s Launch Services Program has awarded a pair of contracts to Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, and Spaceport Systems International in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The companies will provide the necessary facilities to perform payload-processing services for NASA missions launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The aggregate value of available firm-fixed-price orders under the two contracts could be worth up to $35m over a maximum of four years, which includes two one-year options.

Astrotech and Spaceport Systems International will use their respective Vandenberg facilities to support the final assembly of spacecraft and encapsulate them before they are taken to the launch pad.

While processing requirements differ depending on the spacecraft and mission, they usually include final assembly and testing, integration with a third stage or adapter, propellant loading and spin balancing. Such tasks typically begin about three months before the scheduled launch.