SpaceX will reuse the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stages and Crew Dragon spacecraft for missions to the International Space Station as early as 2021 under a modification to the company’s Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with NASA, SpaceNews reported Tuesday.
The CCtCap contract modification allows SpaceX to use previously flown Crew Dragon and boosters starting with Crew-2 or Post-Certification Mission 2, which could launch by 2021.
“In this case, SpaceX has proposed to reuse future Falcon 9 and/or Crew Dragon systems or components for NASA missions to the International Space Station because they believe it will be beneficial from a safety and/or cost standpoint,” Stephanie Schierholz, a spokesperson for the space agency, told the publication. “NASA performed an in-depth review and determined that the terms of the overall contract modification were in the best interests of the government.”
The modification also extended the length of the manned Demo-2 test flight mission from two weeks to up to 119 days. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon took off in late May to transport two NASA astronauts to the ISS as part of Demo-2.