The additional trips, which will cost the firm $1.4 billion, will increase the total number of crew missions to date to 14.

Elon Musk's SpaceX has been given five more astronaut missions by NASA, according to an announcement made on Wednesday. This new contract will cost SpaceX an additional $1.4 billion.

NASA's Commercial Crew programme, which transports humans and cargo to and from the International Space Station, is what the additional missions are a part of. Right now, SpaceX is carrying out the organization's fourth operational human mission.

For contracts under Commercial Crew, SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship has been in competition with Boeing's Starliner manned spacecraft. Boeing has won six missions, while SpaceX has won 14, despite the fact that both firms have now been given over $5 billion to develop and fly their own capsules. With Starliner, the latter has not yet launched astronauts.

Boeing has borne $688 million in expenses from delays and additional work on the capsule, in part because NASA's contracts for the programme are fixed-price agreements. The corporation currently plans to launch its first astronaut voyage in February after successfully completing an uncrewed Starliner flight to the ISS in May.

Up to 2030, when the ISS is anticipated to be decommissioned, the 20 flights that have already been awarded encompass personnel missions.