Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is part of a payload contract NASA has awarded for as much as $100 million over a decade. Elon Musk’s rocket launch and satellite operator will share the contract for unspecified “commercial payload processing services” with Astrotech Space Operations LLC, a unit of Lockheed Martin Corp., the government’s space agency announced in a statement. The deal is for payload processing, which involves preparing spacecraft to be flown on top of a rocket ahead of a flight to space.
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The uncrewed missions will be launched out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, or Vandenberg Space Force Base in California and the contract could run for as many as 10 years through February of 2033, NASA said. The missions that SpaceX and Astrotech will work on involve launching satellites to observe the Earth or spacecraft that visit deep-space destinations in the Solar System, it said.