Author Topic: NASA lines up four additional CRS missions for Dragon and Cygnus  (Read 23740 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

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Offline averagespacejoe

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So from what I understand this is just an automatic extension of the original contract and the 2nd contract is still up for consideration past 2017. Just making sure I am summarizing correctly. Also right now we call missions CRS SpX(some number) what would the 2nd ones be called?

Offline Chris Bergin

So from what I understand this is just an automatic extension of the original contract and the 2nd contract is still up for consideration past 2017. Just making sure I am summarizing correctly. Also right now we call missions CRS SpX(some number) what would the 2nd ones be called?

Yes sir.

CRS contract. CRS extension. Then on to CRS2.

PS This is part one of two for an update on Commercial vehicles. The second one is on Commercial crew and was going to be part of this article, but I felt it best to do two articles to keep their specific.
« Last Edit: 03/03/2015 11:47 pm by Chris Bergin »
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Offline yokem55

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I wonder if the extension specifies a Dragon v1 vehicle or if SpaceX could use a cargo variant of Dragon v2?

Offline freds

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I wonder if the extension specifies a Dragon v1 vehicle or if SpaceX could use a cargo variant of Dragon v2?

Does the time line support this?

Offline king1999

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Have they published the price tag yet? Hope SpaceX can get their price inflation adjusted :)
« Last Edit: 03/04/2015 12:58 am by king1999 »

Offline ChrisWilson68

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I wonder if the extension specifies a Dragon v1 vehicle or if SpaceX could use a cargo variant of Dragon v2?

SpaceX has said they plan to continue to use Dragon 1 as the cargo vehicle at least for several years after Dragon 2 is being used for crew.  If that's their plan, I don't see why they would use Dragon 2 for cargo on the extended CRS missions.

Offline arachnitect

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In the last OrbATK conference call Thompson said they already had a signed contract for CRS-1 extension, but wouldn't give details.

I guess it's just the one Cygnus.


Offline StuffOfInterest

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In the last OrbATK conference call Thompson said they already had a signed contract for CRS-1 extension, but wouldn't give details.

I guess it's just the one Cygnus.

Considering that their system is currently grounded and will require a major redesign I'm surprised they are getting even one additional launch.  Until their replacement vehicle is tested I'd think their future launches to ISS should be frozen.

Offline Zed_Noir

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In the last OrbATK conference call Thompson said they already had a signed contract for CRS-1 extension, but wouldn't give details.

I guess it's just the one Cygnus.

Considering that their system is currently grounded and will require a major redesign I'm surprised they are getting even one additional launch.  Until their replacement vehicle is tested I'd think their future launches to ISS should be frozen.

There is the Atlas V back up option.

Offline docmordrid

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In the last OrbATK conference call Thompson said they already had a signed contract for CRS-1 extension, but wouldn't give details.

I guess it's just the one Cygnus.

Considering that their system is currently grounded and will require a major redesign I'm surprised they are getting even one additional launch.  Until their replacement vehicle is tested I'd think their future launches to ISS should be frozen.

There is the Atlas V back up option.

But at what cost, and how often can they go to that well before they lose money by doing it?
« Last Edit: 03/04/2015 02:59 am by docmordrid »
DM

Offline king1999

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In the last OrbATK conference call Thompson said they already had a signed contract for CRS-1 extension, but wouldn't give details.

I guess it's just the one Cygnus.

Considering that their system is currently grounded and will require a major redesign I'm surprised they are getting even one additional launch.  Until their replacement vehicle is tested I'd think their future launches to ISS should be frozen.

There is the Atlas V back up option.

But at what cost, and how often can they go to that well before they lose money by doing it?
NASA needs the redundancy of two providers even they have to pay more for that.

Offline Impaler

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Well Orbital/ATK as a larger company can in principle afford to absorb any over-runs better then Orbital alone could have.  I'm not saying that was a reason for the merger but it certainly helps make the whole Antares failure less of an issue when it just one program in a much bigger company.

Offline arachnitect

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In the last OrbATK conference call Thompson said they already had a signed contract for CRS-1 extension, but wouldn't give details.

I guess it's just the one Cygnus.

Considering that their system is currently grounded and will require a major redesign I'm surprised they are getting even one additional launch.  Until their replacement vehicle is tested I'd think their future launches to ISS should be frozen.

There is the Atlas V back up option.

But at what cost, and how often can they go to that well before they lose money by doing it?

Atlas is cheaper than you think. Antares is more expensive than you think.

Offline Tomness

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In the last OrbATK conference call Thompson said they already had a signed contract for CRS-1 extension, but wouldn't give details.

I guess it's just the one Cygnus.

Considering that their system is currently grounded and will require a major redesign I'm surprised they are getting even one additional launch.  Until their replacement vehicle is tested I'd think their future launches to ISS should be frozen.

There is the Atlas V back up option.

But at what cost, and how often can they go to that well before they lose money by doing it?

1.9 billion for 20,000 kg of cargo ,enigines at good price both times. Cygnus Enhanced, Super-Cygnus & never know but they could offer unpressuredized cygnus. Which would be nice for some extra ORUs and getting rid of some trash.

Edited - thanks QauntomG
« Last Edit: 03/04/2015 03:53 am by Tomness »

Offline QuantumG

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1.9 billion i ll say again billion for 20 k tons of cargo

Really? $95/kg sounds pretty low.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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In the last OrbATK conference call Thompson said they already had a signed contract for CRS-1 extension, but wouldn't give details.

I guess it's just the one Cygnus.

Considering that their system is currently grounded and will require a major redesign I'm surprised they are getting even one additional launch.  Until their replacement vehicle is tested I'd think their future launches to ISS should be frozen.

There is the Atlas V back up option.

But at what cost, and how often can they go to that well before they lose money by doing it?

Atlas is cheaper than you think. Antares is more expensive than you think.

How much is OrbATK paying for its Atlas launch?  How much does docmordrid think it costs?  How much does each Antares cost OrbATK?  How much does docmordrid think it is?

Offline TrevorMonty

In the last OrbATK conference call Thompson said they already had a signed contract for CRS-1 extension, but wouldn't give details.

I guess it's just the one Cygnus.

Considering that their system is currently grounded and will require a major redesign I'm surprised they are getting even one additional launch.  Until their replacement vehicle is tested I'd think their future launches to ISS should be frozen.
NASA are buying services of Cygnus, the LV Orbital uses is not that important.

Offline woods170

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In the last OrbATK conference call Thompson said they already had a signed contract for CRS-1 extension, but wouldn't give details.

I guess it's just the one Cygnus.

Considering that their system is currently grounded and will require a major redesign I'm surprised they are getting even one additional launch.  Until their replacement vehicle is tested I'd think their future launches to ISS should be frozen.
The extension of the CRS contract was done before Antares blew up. The number of extra flights is completely unrelated to the launch failure. It is NASA who decides what the additional service should be: emphasis on upmass, or emphasis on down-mass, or a mix of the two.

Also:
NASA is buying a service, not a specific launcher or even a specific system. Testing is not the responsibility of NASA and it is most certainly not up to NASA to call for freezing the flights. It was Orbital's choice to suspend flights.


Edit: Oh crud, now I've done it: discussing Cygnus/Antares in the SpaceX section. Who set up this thread here? Oh wait....  ;)
« Last Edit: 03/04/2015 10:28 am by woods170 »

Offline Chris Bergin

In the last OrbATK conference call Thompson said they already had a signed contract for CRS-1 extension, but wouldn't give details.

I guess it's just the one Cygnus.

Considering that their system is currently grounded and will require a major redesign I'm surprised they are getting even one additional launch.  Until their replacement vehicle is tested I'd think their future launches to ISS should be frozen.
The extension of the CRS contract was done before Antares blew up. The number of extra flights is completely unrelated to the launch failure. It is NASA who decides what the additional service should be: emphasis on upmass, or emphasis on down-mass, or a mix of the two.

Also:
NASA is buying a service, not a specific launcher or even a specific system. Testing is not the responsibility of NASA and it is most certainly not up to NASA to call for freezing the flights. It was Orbital's choice to suspend flights.


Edit: Oh crud, now I've done it: discussing Cygnus/Antares in the SpaceX section. Who set up this thread here? Oh wait....  ;)

Heh! Every SpaceX thread turns into an Orbital thread! Honestly, you Frank Culbertson fans are impossible! ;D

Actually, I did put this thread in the Orbital section, but then redirected it here (as we only need one thread). :)
« Last Edit: 03/04/2015 12:18 pm by Chris Bergin »
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Offline Nomadd

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Are there any threads on the feasibility of Dragon using the Atlas if the F9 has a similar problem?
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline Jimmy Murdok

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Any topic or public info on CRS 2 SpaceX vehicle?
My conservative logic gives me a simplified Dragon 2 with the big berthing port. But Orbital will offer almost 3 times it's pressurized volume, so 2018 might be time to make a bigger pressure vessel for an enhanced cargo Dragon  ::), something around 20-25m3 that in the future could be used for an upgraded BEO crewed Dragon.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Any topic or public info on CRS 2 SpaceX vehicle?
My conservative logic gives me a simplified Dragon 2 with the big berthing port. But Orbital will offer almost 3 times it's pressurized volume, so 2018 might be time to make a bigger pressure vessel for an enhanced cargo Dragon  ::), something around 20-25m3 that in the future could be used for an upgraded BEO crewed Dragon.

Any of those things is going to be a bunch of engineering work and that takes time, money, and risk.  Proposing anything for CRS 2 that adds time, money, and/or risk is probably going to hurt them.

Elon said he expected Dragon 1 to continue flying cargo for at least several years after Dragon 2 enters service.  I don't see much reason to think that plan has changed.  SpaceX is most likely to make the most money from CRS2 by continuing to fly Dragon 1.

Besides, SpaceX has plenty to do on making Dragon 2 safe and cost-effective for crew, making first stage re-use cost-effective, and making Falcon Heavy cost-effective.  Plus, in their spare time, colonizing Mars. :-)

Offline Lars-J

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Any topic or public info on CRS 2 SpaceX vehicle?
My conservative logic gives me a simplified Dragon 2 with the big berthing port. But Orbital will offer almost 3 times it's pressurized volume, so 2018 might be time to make a bigger pressure vessel for an enhanced cargo Dragon  ::), something around 20-25m3 that in the future could be used for an upgraded BEO crewed Dragon.

CRS 2 will likely just be Cargo Dragon (1). Dragon 2 does not have room for the bigger berthing port.

Offline arachnitect

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Offline Jimmy Murdok

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Any topic or public info on CRS 2 SpaceX vehicle?
My conservative logic gives me a simplified Dragon 2 with the big berthing port. But Orbital will offer almost 3 times it's pressurized volume, so 2018 might be time to make a bigger pressure vessel for an enhanced cargo Dragon  ::), something around 20-25m3 that in the future could be used for an upgraded BEO crewed Dragon.

Any of those things is going to be a bunch of engineering work and that takes time, money, and risk.  Proposing anything for CRS 2 that adds time, money, and/or risk is probably going to hurt them.

Elon said he expected Dragon 1 to continue flying cargo for at least several years after Dragon 2 enters service.  I don't see much reason to think that plan has changed.  SpaceX is most likely to make the most money from CRS2 by continuing to fly Dragon 1.

Besides, SpaceX has plenty to do on making Dragon 2 safe and cost-effective for crew, making first stage re-use cost-effective, and making Falcon Heavy cost-effective.  Plus, in their spare time, colonizing Mars. :-)

Don't you think they will at least apply retropropulsive land landing with superdracos merging both spacecrafts? It's a great test bed besides dragonfly and ocean recovery is avoided.

Offline mme

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Any topic or public info on CRS 2 SpaceX vehicle?
My conservative logic gives me a simplified Dragon 2 with the big berthing port. But Orbital will offer almost 3 times it's pressurized volume, so 2018 might be time to make a bigger pressure vessel for an enhanced cargo Dragon  ::), something around 20-25m3 that in the future could be used for an upgraded BEO crewed Dragon.
I have no insight, but I'm not sure how big of an issue the difference in volume is between Cygnus and Dragon 1 as they have complementary capabilities.  NASA needs something that can return cargo to Earth and Cygnus can't do that.  So the potential competitors to SpaceX are CST-100, Liberty, Dream Chaser and whoever else offering to return cargo to Earth.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline Jimmy Murdok

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I have no insight, but I'm not sure how big of an issue the difference in volume is between Cygnus and Dragon 1 as they have complementary capabilities.  NASA needs something that can return cargo to Earth and Cygnus can't do that.  So the potential competitors to SpaceX are CST-100, Liberty, Dream Chaser and whoever else offering to return cargo to Earth.
My answer in CRS 2 Topic
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34093.380

Offline BobHk

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Any topic or public info on CRS 2 SpaceX vehicle?
My conservative logic gives me a simplified Dragon 2 with the big berthing port. But Orbital will offer almost 3 times it's pressurized volume, so 2018 might be time to make a bigger pressure vessel for an enhanced cargo Dragon  ::), something around 20-25m3 that in the future could be used for an upgraded BEO crewed Dragon.
I have no insight, but I'm not sure how big of an issue the difference in volume is between Cygnus and Dragon 1 as they have complementary capabilities.  NASA needs something that can return cargo to Earth and Cygnus can't do that.  So the potential competitors to SpaceX are CST-100, Liberty, Dream Chaser and whoever else offering to return cargo to Earth.

Infographic

« Last Edit: 03/04/2015 11:38 pm by BobHk »

Offline Chris Bergin

So from what I understand this is just an automatic extension of the original contract and the 2nd contract is still up for consideration past 2017. Just making sure I am summarizing correctly. Also right now we call missions CRS SpX(some number) what would the 2nd ones be called?

Yes sir.

CRS contract. CRS extension. Then on to CRS2.

PS This is part one of two for an update on Commercial vehicles. The second one is on Commercial crew and was going to be part of this article, but I felt it best to do two articles to keep their specific.

Here's Part 2:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/03/commercial-crew-demo-missions-dragon-cst-100/
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Offline yg1968

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Have they published the price tag yet? Hope SpaceX can get their price inflation adjusted :)

When the intention to extend was announced last year, it was said that the extension was made at "no cost" to NASA. I am guessing that means at "no additional costs" to NASA as the original contract already provided for the possibility of additionnal missions (up to a maximum for each contract of $3.1B). See the following synopsis:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cff80051d20c232523953c167a42b410&tab=core&_cview=0

Quote from: synopsis
ASA/JSC intends to extend the existing Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contracts NNJ09GA02B, with Orbital Sciences Corporation, hereinafter referred to as Orbital, and NNJ09GA04B, with Space Exploration Technologies, hereinafter referred to as SpaceX for up to 24 months from December 2015 to December 2017 at no cost. Both contracts were awarded in December 2008 and have a not to exceed (NTE) contract value of 3.1B each.
« Last Edit: 03/07/2015 01:58 pm by yg1968 »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Have they published the price tag yet? Hope SpaceX can get their price inflation adjusted :)

When the intension to extend was announced last year, it was said that the extension was made at no cost to NASA. I am guessing that means at "no additional costs" to NASA as the original contract already provided for the possibility of additionnal missions (the maximum for each contract was $3.1B). See the following synopsis:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cff80051d20c232523953c167a42b410&tab=core&_cview=0

Quote from: synopsis
ASA/JSC intends to extend the existing Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contracts NNJ09GA02B, with Orbital Sciences Corporation, hereinafter referred to as Orbital, and NNJ09GA04B, with Space Exploration Technologies, hereinafter referred to as SpaceX for up to 24 months from December 2015 to December 2017 at no cost. Both contracts were awarded in December 2008 and have a not to exceed (NTE) contract value of 3.1B each.
3 additional SPX missions would put the contract value at $3.0B just under the $3.1B NTE.
Orbital Contract value would increase to ~$2.14B from $1.9B.

Offline king1999

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Have they published the price tag yet? Hope SpaceX can get their price inflation adjusted :)

When the intension to extend was announced last year, it was said that the extension was made at no cost to NASA. I am guessing that means at "no additional costs" to NASA as the original contract already provided for the possibility of additionnal missions (the maximum for each contract was $3.1B). See the following synopsis:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cff80051d20c232523953c167a42b410&tab=core&_cview=0

Quote from: synopsis
ASA/JSC intends to extend the existing Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contracts NNJ09GA02B, with Orbital Sciences Corporation, hereinafter referred to as Orbital, and NNJ09GA04B, with Space Exploration Technologies, hereinafter referred to as SpaceX for up to 24 months from December 2015 to December 2017 at no cost. Both contracts were awarded in December 2008 and have a not to exceed (NTE) contract value of 3.1B each.
3 additional SPX missions would put the contract value at $3.0B just under the $3.1B NTE.
Orbital Contract value would increase to ~$2.14B from $1.9B.
If that's accurate, SpaceX will get 466 million per extended launch! However, they get 3000/15=200 million per launch for the whole program, which is a fairer price considering their unique unpressured cargo and down mass capability. Still cheaper than Orbital per launch.

Offline gongora

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3 additional SPX missions would put the contract value at $3.0B just under the $3.1B NTE.
Orbital Contract value would increase to ~$2.14B from $1.9B.

Wouldn't 3 additional missions put SpaceX around $2.0B?

Offline Jimmy Murdok

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3 additional SPX missions would put the contract value at $3.0B just under the $3.1B NTE.
Orbital Contract value would increase to ~$2.14B from $1.9B.

Wouldn't 3 additional missions put SpaceX around $2.0B?
Yes that sounds more logic: each launch is 133M USD including the development of F9, but assuming some inflation I can imagine they will keep everything around the same cost, so 400M for 3 launches sounds fair.

Offline guckyfan

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Isn't this an extension of the existing contract? That would mean the price is constant, with an adjustment for inflation. So somewhat higher than the initial price.

Edit: What inflation figure would be used?
« Last Edit: 03/07/2015 08:00 pm by guckyfan »

Offline arachnitect

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http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/03/07/nasa-orders-missions-to-resupply-space-station-in-2017/

Quote
“NASA has ordered three additional flights with SpaceX in the extension period,” said Stephanie Schierholz, a NASA spokesperson. “NASA has ordered one additional flight with Orbital in the extension period.

Not that there was really any doubt, but there's the confirmation.

I don't get why NASA doesn't announce this. They have a press conference if someone cleans a closet at MAF or some high school kids built a cubesat. This is not a small deal and a lot of people follow all things ISS (or Spacex) closely.

Offline Coastal Ron

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http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/03/07/nasa-orders-missions-to-resupply-space-station-in-2017/

Quote
“NASA has ordered three additional flights with SpaceX in the extension period,” said Stephanie Schierholz, a NASA spokesperson. “NASA has ordered one additional flight with Orbital in the extension period.

Not that there was really any doubt, but there's the confirmation.

I don't get why NASA doesn't announce this. They have a press conference if someone cleans a closet at MAF or some high school kids built a cubesat. This is not a small deal and a lot of people follow all things ISS (or Spacex) closely.

Yes, politicians do indeed do that, so it is interesting in this case.

However this is not a new contract, just an extension of the current CRS contract.  From our own archives here at NASASpaceFlight:

“CRS is a Firm-Fixed Price (FFP), Commercial, Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) procurement. This acquisition is a multiple award contract for a minimum guarantee dollar value for 20 metric tons (MT) of upmass.

Since it's an IDIQ contract they could keep extending it if they wanted, but obviously they are looking to make sure they are getting the best value as the cargo industry matures, which is why they are re-competing with the CRS-2 contract.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline arachnitect

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http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/03/07/nasa-orders-missions-to-resupply-space-station-in-2017/

Quote
“NASA has ordered three additional flights with SpaceX in the extension period,” said Stephanie Schierholz, a NASA spokesperson. “NASA has ordered one additional flight with Orbital in the extension period.

Not that there was really any doubt, but there's the confirmation.

I don't get why NASA doesn't announce this. They have a press conference if someone cleans a closet at MAF or some high school kids built a cubesat. This is not a small deal and a lot of people follow all things ISS (or Spacex) closely.

Yes, politicians do indeed do that, so it is interesting in this case.

However this is not a new contract, just an extension of the current CRS contract.  From our own archives here at NASASpaceFlight:

“CRS is a Firm-Fixed Price (FFP), Commercial, Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) procurement. This acquisition is a multiple award contract for a minimum guarantee dollar value for 20 metric tons (MT) of upmass.

Since it's an IDIQ contract they could keep extending it if they wanted, but obviously they are looking to make sure they are getting the best value as the cargo industry matures, which is why they are re-competing with the CRS-2 contract.

I know it's a "contract extension" but NASA bought four whole space missions, it's sort of a big deal.

Everybody who's been following ISS closely knew that something like this was coming. Why not just put out a 200 word press release once the contracts are finalized. Instead it slowly leaks out in OrbATK press conferences and the FPIP charts we get here on NSF, then the press has to call up NASA and ask about it.

The info has to get out one way or another, it would be so much more efficient for them to type up a quick press release once the contracts are signed.

Offline king1999

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http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/03/07/nasa-orders-missions-to-resupply-space-station-in-2017/

Quote
“NASA has ordered three additional flights with SpaceX in the extension period,” said Stephanie Schierholz, a NASA spokesperson. “NASA has ordered one additional flight with Orbital in the extension period.

Not that there was really any doubt, but there's the confirmation.

I don't get why NASA doesn't announce this. They have a press conference if someone cleans a closet at MAF or some high school kids built a cubesat. This is not a small deal and a lot of people follow all things ISS (or Spacex) closely.

Yes, politicians do indeed do that, so it is interesting in this case.

However this is not a new contract, just an extension of the current CRS contract.  From our own archives here at NASASpaceFlight:

“CRS is a Firm-Fixed Price (FFP), Commercial, Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) procurement. This acquisition is a multiple award contract for a minimum guarantee dollar value for 20 metric tons (MT) of upmass.

Since it's an IDIQ contract they could keep extending it if they wanted, but obviously they are looking to make sure they are getting the best value as the cargo industry matures, which is why they are re-competing with the CRS-2 contract.

I know it's a "contract extension" but NASA bought four whole space missions, it's sort of a big deal.

Everybody who's been following ISS closely knew that something like this was coming. Why not just put out a 200 word press release once the contracts are finalized. Instead it slowly leaks out in OrbATK press conferences and the FPIP charts we get here on NSF, then the press has to call up NASA and ask about it.

The info has to get out one way or another, it would be so much more efficient for them to type up a quick press release once the contracts are signed.
They don't want to release the pricing info for unknown reason.

Offline ZachS09

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For Orbital ATK's additional Cygnus resupply flight, Orb-8E, does the "E" in the mission name mean that Cygnus could stay at the ISS for more than one month?
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Offline Coastal Ron

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I know it's a "contract extension" but NASA bought four whole space missions, it's sort of a big deal.

From our perspective, yes, but we get excited about stuff like this.

Quote
The info has to get out one way or another, it would be so much more efficient for them to type up a quick press release once the contracts are signed.

Maybe because the parties involved (or at least NASA) don't want to draw a lot of attention to this for some reason?

Orbital ATK is a public company, so it would makes sense that they would talk about it.  SpaceX is privately held, and would only talk about it if it furthered their needs.  If not a lot is being made about this I suspect it's because NASA didn't want to make a lot about this.  Why, I don't know.  But that's how I interpret things...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline gongora

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It would be interesting to see what the companies are really getting paid for these missions.  The guaranteed minimum values are for certain amounts of up/down mass which could be exceeded, and the SpaceX contract mentions potentially different pricing depending on if mission is mass or volume limited.  Will be really interesting to see the upmass on CRS-6 too with an empty trunk.

Offline arachnitect

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For Orbital ATK's additional Cygnus resupply flight, Orb-8E, does the "E" in the mission name mean that Cygnus could stay at the ISS for more than one month?

Originally there were going to be 8 delivery missions from Orbital. After the failure, Orbital cancelled a mission (they would fly more cargo on each mission). Now they've been awarded an additional mission, so they're back to 8 missions.

The "e" is to differentiate the newly awarded mission from previously planned and cancelled Orb-8.

Offline Mariusuiram

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For Orbital ATK's additional Cygnus resupply flight, Orb-8E, does the "E" in the mission name mean that Cygnus could stay at the ISS for more than one month?

Originally there were going to be 8 delivery missions from Orbital. After the failure, Orbital cancelled a mission (they would fly more cargo on each mission). Now they've been awarded an additional mission, so they're back to 8 missions.

The "e" is to differentiate the newly awarded mission from previously planned and cancelled Orb-8.

I thought the E referred to the Extended Cygnus, since the new rocket will fly an extended vessel to deliver more payload per launch. This one would also deliver more than originally planned.

Offline Sesquipedalian

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I thought the E referred to the Extended Cygnus, since the new rocket will fly an extended vessel to deliver more payload per launch. This one would also deliver more than originally planned.

No, or every other mission from Orb-4 onward would also have the E suffix.

There is precedent for missions to be given a suffix if they are replanned but reuse a previous numeric designation.  Post-Challenger, several missions were given the R suffix (for "reflight" or "replanned") such as STS-26R to distinguish them from the earlier planned missions which had used the same numbers.

Offline ZachS09

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I thought the E referred to the Extended Cygnus, since the new rocket will fly an extended vessel to deliver more payload per launch. This one would also deliver more than originally planned.

No, or every other mission from Orb-4 onward would also have the E suffix.

There is precedent for missions to be given a suffix if they are replanned but reuse a previous numeric designation.  Post-Challenger, several missions were given the R suffix (for "reflight" or "replanned") such as STS-26R to distinguish them from the earlier planned missions which had used the same numbers.

Thanks; I see the similarities between the post-Challenger missions and the Cygnus manifest.
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